The four Republican candidates vying for the first congressional district seat, held by outgoing Representative Rob Bishop, participated in a debate on Tuesday.
The Utah Debate Commission event was held at the University of Utah.
Kerry Gibson has served has a Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and Food. He shared his thoughts on the idea of federal troops being sent in to disperse protests in Salt Lake City.
“Not in my America. We don't the military of the United States of America in Salt Lake City, Utah,” Gibson continued. “We have a tremendous police force, we have the resources to handle this within the state of Utah. We don't need the federal government coming in and telling us exactly how we need to do these types of things. This concept of federalism is critically important. Where states have the opportunities and the willingness and the ability to handle a lot of our own challenges. Let’s have the federal government take care of defending our borders, and defending our nation, and let's have the state government take care of domestic matters within our state lines.”
Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt has been vocal about what she perceives as the state’s shortcomings in their response to COVID-19.
“We need to trust individuals to make good decisions for themselves and their families,” Witt said. “We don't need a fourth phase, we need to let people get back to work. I think that it was a mistake in retrospect to force everybody to close down. You can see the impact as we see the angst and the stress that our nation has gone through over the past several months. It is time to reopen America. We have to let people earn a living.”
Blake Moore has worked for the US Department of State in Washington D.C. and in Asia. He shared his response on how he would work across the aisle if elected.
“This is every day of my life, working with people with the diversity of thought,” Moore explained. “Politics is the only place in the world where diversity of thought doesn't actually help you get to the better conclusion. We need to embrace that fully, in what we’re doing. Absolutely the economy. We need to be thinking together. We need to think of bipartisan or nonpartisan approaches to how to improve our economy. A lot of times that's going to be for Congress to take a step back, and let our small businesses get back to work.”
Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson shared his thoughts on the importance of cybersecurity.
“One of the problems we also run into is it becomes also the privacy. Are people looking and listening to some of us private citizens,” Stevenson asked? “That becomes a very fine, but we have to protect our rights still in this country. We have to be able to correct that problem and shut it down and stop this indirect spying and of buying information from us. One of the things that we could look at very simply was four years ago now as to where there was influence with what has been said within the election process. These are not things that can happen, we have to stop them.”
The entire debate, as well as the Democratic Party candidates debate from Monday can be found here.
Utah’s Primary Election day is June 30.