The second of two debates by Republicans vying to replace Rep. The focus was on personal ties to the Southern and 2nd congressional districts.
With a condensed schedule for the special election after Mr. Stewart’s resignation, the candidates made great use of their performances in the debates. It was one of the last chances to appeal to Republican delegates ahead of Saturday’s state nominating convention, which will see the field of 12 Republican candidates dwindle.
Eight of the candidates are committed to winning the convention, but only one will advance to the special primary. The four candidates, who also said they would collect signatures, need to collect 7,000 signatures by July 5 to participate in the vote if they don’t win on Saturday.
Questions during the debate were almost unanimously answered, with candidates saying they supported state rights and were skeptical of federal power. Questions posed by delegates from Southern Utah required candidates to demonstrate a good understanding of the concerns of voters in their region.
Some of the debate’s most provocative moments occurred during the personal question rounds. Former Utah House Speaker and gubernatorial candidate Greg Hughes was asked about his background on legislation affecting Utah’s caucuses system, while former state legislator and senator candidate Becky Edwards said the 2020 He said he regretted making a statement in support of President Joe Biden during the campaign.
The debate was hosted by local and state Republican leaders at the DixieTech Auditorium in St. George. The debate was moderated by Utah Republican Party Chair Rob Axon.
The first question for candidates was whether they possessed the necessary work ethic, character traits, and preparation to become effective networkers and policy makers in Washington, DC.
Stewart is the oldest of four members of the Utah delegation to the House and serves on the powerful House Information Spending Committee.
Mr. Hughes and Mr. Edwards both touted their legislative careers as state legislators for at least 10 years.
Celeste Malloy, who resigned as Stewart’s chief legal counsel and ran for candidacy, started her career as an attorney in Washington County and has spent the last few years working for Mr. Said it was ready. 2nd congressional district.
Others said their political background in business and volunteerism prepared them for the presidency, including five years in the Navy that was necessary to always stand their ground when making difficult decisions. Among them is Scott Allen Hatfield, the youngest who said he taught him how to sacrifice.
Consultant and professor Henry C. Eyring said he was prepared to succeed Stewart because of his agricultural background and academic experience.
“Reduce waste for better outcomes, cut spending for better health, cut spending for better education, better economic growth, and better protection of family and parental rights. That’s the mindset I want to bring to people, I’ve reported to Congress and told them I’m bringing business all over Utah,” Eyring said.
Candidates gave specific examples of federal overreach and asked what they would do to address the problem.
Hughes said the two-tiered justice system is hurting the country and the Bureau of Land Management is hurting the growth of Utah communities. Edwards, former Washington, D.C. policy adviser Scott Lever and others said the problem had to do with Congress abandoning its responsibility to address difficult issues.
Malloy said the question led to why she wanted to run for Congress.
“I think it’s the job of members of Congress to pry your life and livelihood under the fingers of the federal government,” she said. “As Congressman, I will protect your freedoms by limiting the size of federal agencies and keeping the federal government out of your lives as much as possible, which is why I want to represent you.”
Candidates were asked if their primary residence was in the 2nd congressional district. Everyone said yes, except for Hatfield, Hughes, and Bruce Huff, a longtime Republican member of the Republican National Committee in Utah. Hughes and Huff said their decades of representing the state in Republican politics have proven they touched on the issues most important to communities in southern Utah.
Each candidate highlighted time spent in a small town in southern Utah, but some said living in the district was essential to good representation.
Jordan Hess, who resigned as Utah Republican vice chairman and ran for second, spoke of his deep family roots in the district.
“All my actions during my time in Congress will be focused on this district and its needs,” Hess said, emphasizing the importance of public land management, water rights and local agriculture.
During personal questions, candidates were asked to answer past and present controversies.
Asked whether he regretted supporting Biden in 2020 and now seeing the effect of his policies, Edwards called the question an opportunity to “debunk the myth.” said he was thinking.
She said she and her husband were preaching for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in American Samoa during the 2020 presidential election. However, she admitted to having her concerns about “one of her candidates” and admitted that she lent her voice to “another candidate on that vote.” She went on to say that she was “extremely disappointed and disappointed with the Biden administration.”
During the same questioning, Mr. Hughes was asked to defend his role in passing a bill in 2014 that opened the candidate nomination process to collecting signatures. He argued that the law was passed with the understanding that it would preserve the process of the party convention, but that he has since circumvented the delegates’ convention by petitioning for signatures, or would never do so. said he tried to overturn the law.
Here are the other candidates who took to the stage to make their case on Thursday. Kathleen Anderson, former Utah Republican Communications Director and congressional candidate. R. Quinn Denning, entrepreneur and Southern Utah resident. and former businessman and mayor of Leeds, Utah, Bill Hoster.
Another candidate, Tai Jensen, is also scheduled to attend the convention on Saturday, but was unable to attend the debate due to work commitments.
The Republican convention will be held Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Delta High School. A special primary election will be held on September 5 and a special general election on November 21.
https://www.deseret.com/2023/6/22/23768070/gop-candidates-utah-stewart-2nd-debate Who won the 2nd Annual Utah Republican Convention Debate?