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2 more announce campaigns for Orem City Council

By Harrison Epstein - | May 24, 2023
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Orem City Council members, from left, Jeff Lambson, Terry Peterson and LaNae Millett listen during a meeting at the Orem City Center on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.
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Chris Killpack announced his campaign for the Orem City Council on Monday, May 23, 2023.
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Jeff Lambson

As the filing deadline for municipal elections approaches, two more people announced Monday their intentions to seek seats on the Orem City Council.

Incumbent council member Jeff Lambson said he would seek a second term and Chris Killpack, a longtime Orem resident and small business owner, is running for the first time.

Lambson announced his intention to run again in a press release, saying he is “truly grateful for the countless blessings that come with living in such an incredible community” and is seeking office to continue building on his first term and to show support for first responders, city staff and employees.

“I will continue to bring a fresh perspective to our discussions, working collaboratively with fellow council members, city staff, and community partners to address the issues most important to our citizens. My commitment to transparency, accountability, and inclusivity remains steadfast,” Lambson said in his release. “With the right leadership and vision, we can continue to build a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable Orem.”

In his first campaign for the seat, Lambson spoke in favor of pausing construction for high-density housing and has advocated for fiscal responsibility and continued communication between the city and public.

During the 2022 election cycle, when Orem voters were tasked with either creating a new school district or staying with Alpine School District, Lambson consistently opposed the split. He voted against putting the issue on the ballot, a resolution by the council encouraging a “yes” vote and other motions supporting the split. Each issue garnered a 4-3 vote with Lambson, Tom Macdonald and Debby Lauret opposed while Mayor Dave Young, LaNae Millett, Terry Peterson and David Spencer supported the changes.

“In recent months, our city, like the rest of the nation, has faced a challenging season marked by contention and division. As I move forward with my campaign, I pledge to uphold the values of civility and respect that have always defined our great city,” Lambson said.

In addition to holding public office, Lambson is listed online as the president of Riverwoods Communications where he consults with authors and others in the publishing industry. While on the council, Lambson serves on the CARE Commission, Neighborhood Commission, Transportation Advisory Board, UTOPIA and Utah Valley University Community Relations bodies, according to the city website.

Killpack, meanwhile, is seeking office for the first time after decades in business and community service.

“Orem’s home and I felt a desire to give back a little to the community, realizing that should help our community more effectively. I want to build on some relationships of trust and work together in areas that I can to help,” Killpack told the Daily Herald. “I have an opportunity to serve and intend to do that.”

A graduate of Orem High School and father of six, Killpack announced his intention to run on his Facebook page. He is also a former mission president in the Orem Utah Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, president of the Crossroads of the West Council for the Boy Scouts of America — covering Utah and parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Arizona — and small business owner.

Killpack ran RCS Inc., a wireless communication company started by his father that maintained an office on State Street in Orem, until the company was acquired by Day Wireless Systems. He is still the Utah service manager with the company.

In his campaign for the City Council, Killpack stressed four focus areas — creating relationships and trust, promoting public dialogue, supporting city employees and building the community through service.

He opted to run now in part because of timing — his tenure as president of the Crossroads of the West Council comes to an end in March — and because of seeing the work others close to him have done in public office.

“A neighbor that lived two doors away from me was Jerry Washburn, and his children and our children were friends,” he said, referencing the city’s former mayor who died in 2011. “I just respected Jerry and Betty, and I’ve had other friends who have given public service and been on the council and just felt if I could, I wanted to get back to a place I love. I want it to continue to be a place that other families can love.”

While Killpack’s campaign announcement received a host of supportive comments from people who have been directly involved with city government, particularly the proposed Alpine School District split, Killpack envisions a campaign of positivity.

“I see people divided, neighbors divided, neighborhoods divided, a city divided,” he said. “My desire is to create a positive environment where we can create relationships with trust. … If we have a difference of opinion, I’d say let’s have an open forum where we discuss them and let everyone see and feel. I don’t have any hidden agenda. I don’t have any desire to push this or that.”

Lambson and Killpack join Jenn Gale, a former swimming coach at Orem High School and prominent advocate of the city’s 2018 bond to build a new Orem Family Fitness Center and Library Hall, in the race for the three city council seats.

In addition to the seat currently held by Lambson, voters will decide on representation for the seats currently held by Peterson and Lauret. Lauret previously announced she would not seek another term while Peterson did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Herald, though he has indicated privately he would seek reelection.

The three seats will be selected by voters on the November general election ballot. Voters will choose their preferred three candidates out of the field. While only three have declared their intent to run thus far, six ran for the seats in the 2019 election cycle.

The candidate filing period for 2023 municipal elections will be open from June 1-7.


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