CACHE COUNTY – With some reluctance, David L. Erickson has added his name to the list of candidates seeking appointment to replace outgoing Cache County Executive Craig Buttars in an upcoming GOP special election.
“I’d be happy to fill that role (in the county government), but I wouldn’t be doing it for me,” the incumbent county council member explains. “I’ve had a lot of people that I respect and honor reach out to me saying that they would like me to be county executive. So I’m just responding to them, to those people who seem to have confidence in me.
“Do I need the county executive job? Do I want the county executive job? No, I don’t need it and I don’t want it. But I’m happy to do it, because other people are telling me that they know that we can work together to make good things happen here.”
The special election is slated for Saturday, Jan. 30 to allow the Republican Party’s local leaders and precinct officials to select a replacement for Buttars, who has been nominated by Gov. Spencer Cox to serve as commissioner of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
Erickson is a Smithfield resident and a 1986 graduate of Utah State University. He is a farmer and was an agriculture instructor in the Cache County School District from 1987 to 2020.
He has been a member of the Cache County Council since January of 2015, representing the county’s North District. He was reelected to that seat in 2020.
Erickson was also recently appointed to the Agriculture and Rural Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties.
“It’s crazy,” Erickson says, reflecting on his tenure on the county council, “because I keep getting phone calls from people that I thought that I had made angry. Y’know, because of the way that I bluntly talk about things. But I guess that it turns out that I didn’t make them mad at all.
“Now they tell me that they respect my decisions and believe that I made them for the right reasons. If I become county executive, I hope that people will continue to have that attitude about me.”
The upcoming special election will take place during a GOP County Central Committee meeting at the Cache County Event Center, with usual coronavirus precautions in effect. That gathering will be open to only members of the County Central Committee (precinct chairs, vice-chairs, secretaries and treasurers) and county delegates.
Under state law, local GOP leaders will select a nominee to serve out the remainder of Buttars’ unexpired term as county executive and forward that name to the Cache County Council for approval.
Cache GOP chairman Chris Booth said that the party organization began accepting filing affidavits from perspective candidates to replace Buttars on Tuesday and the filing period will close Friday, Jan. 15.
Under state law, a candidate for a county elected position must be a registered voter and a local resident for one year.
In the case of the upcoming GOP special election for the county executive position, all would-be candidates must be registered Republicans.