By Emma Barrett
The votes have been counted, and Republican candidate Curt Bramble is the next state senator for District 16, the district that includes BYU campus.
“It’s been a long haul, and there’s been a whole lot of people that have worked very hard to make this happen,” Bramble said.
He said hundreds of volunteers helped him campaign, and he called the victory a tribute to their efforts.
Bramble won with 64 percent of the vote.
Bramble said the results of the election were not unexpected. He said one poll before the election indicated he would probably earn approximately 65 percent of the vote.
Bramble said he learned a great deal about the people who live in District 16 while knocking on doors during the campaign.
“I think the campaign has been an interesting experience,” Bramble said.
He said his first priority after being sworn in on Jan. 15 of next year is education. He believes this will be the overriding issue in the State Legislature.
“I think education is going to be our top priority not just for this session but in years to come,” he said.
Bramble said he would also like to stress the issue of personal responsibility and accountability.
“We shouldn’t be looking to government to solve all of our problems at every turn,” Bramble said.
He said parents should take responsibility for their children’s education instead of blaming teachers for poor test scores.
Bramble said he would work to place education funding where it is needed, in the hands of teachers in classrooms. Too much of the current decision-making power for educational funds lies in the hands of the State Legislature, he said.
Democratic candidate John Curtis said he also would have concentrated on education.
Curtis would have used his business experience to help draft a long-term plan for education.
He said his experience campaigning taught him that more people should be involved in politics.
“It’s a mistake that it’s so hard,” Curtis said.
He said fundraising, public scrutiny and criticism are all areas that make running for office difficult for candidates.
“It was a real honor to be part of the process,” Curtis said.
“I’m very pleased for Bramble,” he said. “I think it is something he has worked very hard for, and I’m sure he’ll do a good job.”
Bramble said the race was a positive one.
“John and his family worked very hard, and it was a very honorable race; it was a issue-oriented activity,” he said.
Bramble said he hopes he can live up to voters’ expectations.
“I look forward to serving this district,” he said.