Following the resignation of Rep. Justin Miller (D-Millcreek) a special election was called and delegates of the Salt Lake County Democratic Party will select a replacement for Utah House District 40 on November 11th. We sent a questionnaire to each of the candidates regarding their positions on issues that our members asked about. The second candidate that we received answers from is Chris Stout.
Chris Stout is a native Utahn who has resided in the Salt Lake City area for his entire life. He graduated from Alta High in 1984 where he was active in Key Club and debate. Chris was married for nine years and has two grown daughters, Mercedes who is married with four children lives in Tooele, and Heather currently resides in Maine.
Chris was a member of the Army Reserve for nine years and served an active tour as U.S. Army Recruiter in Ogden, Utah. He obtained an Associate Degree in Business from Salt Lake Community College in 1997 while working as a bookkeeper for a family business. He later obtained a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from the University of Utah while working full time and raising his children as a single father.
In 2005, Chris founded Boswick Enterprises, LLC doing business as SalesTaxSolutions.US that is a sales and use tax consulting firm in Salt Lake City. It was a culmination of his experience within sales tax working for several national companies headquartered in Utah. In 2014, Chris expanded his business to handle income tax preparation.
Chris co-founded the Utah Transit Riders Union (UTRU) in 2013 to be an advocate for transit riders and transit priorities. The UTRU board is made up of individuals from different political and socio-economic backgrounds, and Chris has served with distinction as their President since they were founded. UTRU has been instrumental in bringing change within the Utah Transit Authority through scrutiny and demands for increased service as well as by helping to put Proposition One, which raised tax revenues for transit projects, on the ballot.
Chris is also the Chairman of the Salt Lake County Democratic Progressive Caucus, having served since 2013 and was re-elected to serve again in 2015. Under his leadership, they have increased fund raising for progressive candidates, began the process of updating and changing their bylaws, and created an Issues Committee to identify candidates and legislators that understand and promote progressive issues. In 2015, Chris was elected Chairman of the Utah State Democratic Progressive Caucus, where he is leading similar changes.
Chris has campaigned for, and donated to, various Democratic candidates, and was honored to run for the position of Utah State Treasurer in 2012 when he was recruited by the Utah State Democratic Party. He is currently running to represent the residents of House District 40 in the Utah House of Representatives.
Below are his answers to our candidate questionnaire:
What is your general feeling about medical cannabis?
I believe that it is an important tool in reducing pain and suffering and should be available to physicians to prescribe for patients.
Do your support whole plant access?
It’s my understanding that the whole plant process allows more diseases and illnesses to be managed rather than THC or CBD by themselves. Again, it’s an important tool for physicians to be able to use.
Would you support a medical cannabis program in the State of Utah?
Do you support HB348, which reformed the way that the criminal justice system in the State of Utah interacts with drug offenders?
If you could tell your constituents one thing about how you view drug policies, what would it be? Please feel free to elaborate.
The war on drugs has failed. We need to focus on rehabilitation of “hard core” drug users, and not on punitive measures.
Anything else you’d like your constituents to know about you?
I’m progressive and forward thinking, and am the Chair of the Salt Lake County Democratic Progressive Caucus, as well as the Utah State Democratic Progressive Caucus.