I just heard the news that former Congressman Bill Orton had lost his life in an ATV accident at Little Sahara. Bill Orton came to the Congress via one of the worst political mistakes in recent memory, when Karl Snow's campaign to replace Howard Nielson produced an add showing Karl Snow and his family, and a single Bill Orton and his. Even in conservative Republican land, that add was offensive enough to land Bill Orton a job as a Democratic Congressman in one of the most conservative districts in the country.
And Bill Orton took advantage of the situation. He worked hard and did his homework. I remember watching him at meetings discuss in detail issues that were complex. He took his job seriously, and served his constituents well. He was a bit conservative for my taste, but given his district, I was willing to cut him some slack.
After losing his Congressional seat to Chris Cannon, he remained active in the Democratic party and ran a very respectable race for Governor, I believe, in 2000. Bill continued to speak out on issues important to him and remain involved. And all Utahns owe him a debt of gratitude for his service to our state.
I very much appreciated the times I was able to work with Bill over the years. I didn't always agree with him, but always respected him and I wish the most sincere condolensces to his wonderful family.