We have 13 candidates vying for three elected offices this year — seven for one mayoral seat, six for two city council seats. I asked each of them for the following things:
- A photo of yourself. This preferably will be a standard portrait (from shoulders up). It must be a photo we can use in our ongoing coverage of your campaign. If you do not have a recent photo of yourself, let me know, and we can schedule a time and place for me to get a photo of you.
- 50 to 100 words about who you are. This should include information about your current occupation, your involvement with public boards and local politics, how long you have lived in Moab, and where (roughly) you live in the city.
Here are their responses:
V. Kent Green (mayor)
V. Kent Green is a lifelong resident of southeastern Utah and was a deputy sheriff for Grand County for 21 years. In that time, Green became the first Grand County Search and Rescue commander and later the county jail commander.
Green has been appointed president of the Utah Jail Commander Association; received a medal of commendation Utah Sheriff’s Association; and named Utah Search and Rescue member of the year, also by the sheriff’s association.
Green’s wife Cricket Green is the chair of the Grand County Republican Party. The two recently sold their tour company with the intent of retiring.
Joette Langianese (mayor)
Joette Langianese is the Executive Director for Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks and has won two campaigns for Grand County Council. Her nonprofit is an official partner of the National Park Service.
As a county council member from 2001 to 2008, Langianese initiated the Moab Area Partnership for Seniors (MAPS), which was responsible for the development of Moab Regional Hospital, the Canyonlands Care Center, the Grand Center, and MAPS Senior Housing.
Langianese also currently serves as the chair of the Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District board, and she sits on the Moab Tailings Steering Committee.
Stephen J. Stocks (mayor)
Stephen J. Stocks runs a local law firm as a general practitioner attorney, working with clients in English and Spanish. In 2019, he chaired the Grand County Change in Form of Government Study Committee.
In 2020, Stocks ran as an independent for an at-large county commission seat. He lost the race by 144 votes to the chair of the Grand County Democratic Party. Stocks ran in 2018 for Grand County Attorney.
Stocks grew up in Moab. His grandfather Tom Stocks served on the city council for four years then as mayor of Moab for four terms, from 1982 to 1998.
Bill Winfield (mayor)
Bill Winfield owns the Utah-based AW Construction, serves as a board member of Seekhaven, consults voluntarily for the Moab Free Health Clinic, and advises the nonprofit Changing Lives Nepal.
Winfield said his priority is to “continue working with others to develop solutions for local housing to support small businesses and create efficiencies in management of Moab.” In 2019, he and a business partner completed Valley View, a 32-unit subdivision in Moab, and sold 28 units to the Southeast Utah Housing Authority.
Winfield was born in Grand Junction, grew up in Moab, and graduated from Grand County High School in 1977.
Aaron Davies (mayor)
Aaron Davies works in real estate sales, helping people buy and sell property. He previously sold advertising and marketing products to local businesses and organizations.
Davies moved to Grand County in 2004 and served on the Castle Valley Town Council from 2008 to 2012. He currently lives on Moab’s west side.
Davies left business school in 1980 to get a degree in political science after he “became fascinated in how to bring together people with different interests, values, abilities and goals to join in a society where everyone can prosper, whatever that means to them.”
Davies maintains that fascination today.
Sherri Costanza (mayor)
Sherri Costanza, a Moab resident since 2009, works in childcare and has organized various initiatives.
Most recently, Costanza helped organize the taxidermy of Cole, the melanistic deer that died at the end of 2019, and Coffee with the King on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day earlier that year.
Costanza said Moab “is trying to find a balance between industry and living” and she is “willing to fight for that.”
Costanza has four children — two Grand County High School graduates, one Moab Charter School student, and one attending Margaret L. Hopkin Middle School. Her husband of 11 years is Clinton Costanza.
Norm Knapp (mayor)
Norm Knapp, a Moab resident since 2007, is the general manager of Moab Auto Group, which operates Canyonland Auto Sales. He has owned and managed car businesses for 33 years.
In 2018, Knapp challenged incumbent Mary McGann for an at-large seat on the Grand County Council and lost by four points. The year prior, he ran for mayor of Moab and missed the general election by the same margin.
Knapp was the president of the Moab Chamber of Commerce for three years and has also sat on the Grand County Airport Board.
Luke Wojciechowski (city council)
Luke Wojciechowski, a native of Poland who grew up in Illinois, moved to Moab five years ago to take a job with Seekhaven, where he is currently the Deputy Executive Director.
In his role with the family crisis and resource center, he said he helps “oversee programs and staff that provide support to members of our community facing domestic abuse and sexual assault.”
Wojciechowski is also a member of the Moab City Planning Commission, where he “represent[s] the needs of other working-class families in Moab.”
Wojciechowski lives in a sweat-equity home he helped build in the Valley View neighborhood.
Randall Fox (city council)
Randall Fox, recently retired as a result of COVID-19, spent his 45-year career in the bicycle industry. During that time, he led several racing organizations and coached in state, national, and world championships.
Fox began visiting Moab regularly in 1989, but when he moved to the area in spring 2018, he said he became “greatly concerned about resistance to e-bike access to trails and pathways.”
Fox joined Moab Trail Mix and the Motorized Trails Committee as the committee’s first e-bike representative in 2019. Fifteen months later, both the city and county made e-bikes legal to ride on paved multi-use pathways.
Jason Taylor (city council)
Jason Taylor, the Utah Operations Manager for Western River Expeditions and the Moab Adventure Center, has lived in Moab since 1997. He and his wife own Canyonlands Jeep and Car Rentals.
Over the past 24 years, Taylor has served as a volunteer on the Grand County Emergency Medical Services District board, the Moab Area Travel Council, the Moab Motorized Trails Committee, the Sustainable Trails Committee, and Grand County’s Airport Board.
Taylor and his wife together have three teenagers currently attending school in Moab. He said he is “excited for the chance to continue to serve this great community.”
Josie Kovash (city council)
Josie Kovash serves on the Grand County Planning Commission and the board of Moab’s Resiliency Hub, an organization promoting community sustainability. As a longtime service worker, she also now bartends at local restaurant 98 Center.
In her 16 years in Moab, Kovash has worked with local nonprofits including KZMU, Youth Garden Project, Outward Bound, Grand Area Mentoring, and Moab Pride. In 2020, she did voter registration and outreach in Grand County through the progressive Rural Utah Project.
Kovash lives with her husband and 15-month-old daughter in a small house the couple built on Locust Lane.
Anthony Charles (city council)
Anthony Charles, a local massage therapist and lifelong Moabite, made news earlier this year when local and state news media featured him in coverage about unrest in Moab over off-highway vehicle noise.
Charles said of his campaign that the vehicles have “forced” him to run for office and that he had not seen a need to run “until now.”
Off-highway vehicle noise is a prominent feature of living in Charles’s home at the intersection of Sand Flats Road and Millcreek Drive. There, he lives with his wife and son in a sweat equity house, which he helped build.
Mike McCurdy (city council)
Mike McCurdy, a father of two who was born and raised in Moab, is running his second campaign for Moab City Council after losing in the primary election in 2019. He placed seventh in a field of 10 candidates.
During that campaign, McCurdy told The Times-Independent that he had recently taken a job with Moab Property Group after working for City Market for 12 years.
McCurdy said recently he is “a staunch advocate of our community and for our community” and that he is “trying to make Moab a better place for those of us who call it home.”