- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on Utah politicians on the campaign trail (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

Democrat Mike Weinholtz is criticizing Gov. Gary Herbert for supporting Utah’s push to take control of public lands from the federal government, saying it’s a waste of money that would threaten the state’s natural treasures.

Weinholtz made the comments about his GOP opponent in the governor’s race at a Wednesday night, AARP-sponsored candidates’ event.

Weintholtz did not mention Herbert by name but instead attacked positions he and other Republicans have supported in the heavily GOP state.

Herbert signed a law in 2012 demanding that the U.S. government turn over 31 million acres of land. State lawmakers are gearing up for a $14 million lawsuit to force the issue in court.

Herbert did not use his short speech to criticize Weinholtz on Wednesday but instead touted Utah’s strong economy and fewer government employees since he took office.

___

4:30 a.m.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert, his Democratic challenger Mike Weinholtz and other candidates for Utah’s most heated political races are set to make their pitch to retirees Wednesday night at an AARP barbeque in Salt Lake City.

Hebert is a heavy favorite as he runs for another four year term in a state that’s considered a Republican stronghold. He’s been in office since 2009 and earlier this year, fended off a bruising primary challenge from Overstock.com board chairman Jonathan Johnson.

Weinholtz is a wealthy businessman who is expected to emphasize the governor’s decision to endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is unpopular with many of the state’s GOP.

Weinholtz has called Trump “an offense to Utahns and our values” and says Herbert’s endorsement of Trump is “shameful.”


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