Dueling Gubernatorial Candidates Unite to Promote Civility as Election Day Approaches

Oct 20, 2020

Democrat Chris Peterson (left) and Republican Spencer Cox (right) are both vying to become Utah's next Governor.
Credit Peterson and Cox Campaigns

The Democratic and Republican candidates for Utah Governor released a series of joint public service announcements on Tuesday to promote civility, acceptance of election results, and a peaceful transition of power ahead of election day on November 3rd.

 

It’s election season and we’ve all seen a lot of political ads. On TV, social media, radio, and billboards, candidates are eager to tell voters about their accomplishments and occasionally attack their opponents.

 

What is unusual is opposing candidates appearing in the same ads, together.

 

Democrat Chris Peterson and Republican Spencer Cox are both vying for the state’s highest office. The gubernatorial candidates appear together in a trio of public service announcements released on Tuesday promoting civility amid an increasingly tumultuous national political environment.

 

“And while I think you should vote for me … There are some things we both agree on,” Cox says.  

 

Using the hashtag #standunited, the two encourage voters to understand you can disagree with someone without hating them and work together with someone you might have a difference in opinion with. 

 

Most strikingly, Peterson and Cox pledge to respect the results of the presidential election and urge voters to do the same, something President Donald Trump has so far refused to do publicly.

 

“We will fully support the results of the presidential election,” Peterson says.

 

“We ask that you stand with us,” Cox adds.

 

Utah Senator Mitt Romney released his own statement on the lack of civility in politics last week and praised the effort by the candidates, saying “It’s vitally important that leaders at all levels follow Utah’s example and lower the heat.”

 

Peterson and Cox held their last debate in late September. Although there were some sharp disagreements around the state’s COVID-19 response and issues around education funding and learning during the pandemic, the affair was polite and never descended into a shouting match like other debates have this season.

 

According to the most recent polling, Cox holds a commanding 24-point lead over Peterson in the race for Governor. Utah has not elected a Democratic Governor since 1980 when Scott Matheson won his final term in office.

 

Links to all three Peterson and Cox PSAs can be found here:

We Approve; Stand United; One Nation