Jason Chaffetz, a congressman from the Utah Third District, announced on May 19th, 2017, that he would not be completing his term in the House of Representatives and would be stepping down, effective June 30th. In order to fill his place, his congressional district announced a special election, to be held November 7th. The Utah Third District (Chaffetz’s district) extends from southeast Salt Lake City, down through Provo and Heber, and all the way out to Moab and Monticello. As constituents in this district, it is important that we become acquainted with the candidates and their positions on the issues that are most important to us. Although there are at least eight candidates competing for the Congressional seat, a Dan Jones & Associates poll from the first week of September shows that the bottom 6 candidates have the support of just 10.5% of the public. This article will focus on the top two candidates; John Curtis, the Republican nominee (50.17%), and Kathie Allen, the the Democratic nominee (19.82%) To learn more about each candidate, or any of the other candidates running as independents or from smaller parties, follow the links provided at the end of the article.
The Democratic Candidate:
Dr. Kathryn Allen was nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for Chaffetz’s replacement on June 17th, 2017. After graduating from the Loma Linda University medical school and completing her residency at the University of Utah, Dr. Allen practiced family medicine in Kearns and later in West Valley City. For the past four years, she has been a primary care physician for the Utah Transit Authority. Dr. Allen believes in universal health care. She does not endorse the idea of “trickle-down economics,” instead supporting decreases in the corporate tax rate as an economic stimulant. Dr. Allen has promised to work to bring down student loan interest rates, and would like to see labor union apprenticeships established on college campuses to give students skills to earn income while pursuing traditional degrees. She is only polling at 19.82%, but Dr. Allen is extremely well funded and continues to fight for the congressional seat. For more information on Dr. Kathryn Allen, visit https://www.drkathieforcongress.com.
The Republican Candidate:
Mayor John Curtis has served as Mayor of Provo since 2010. Even though he was not the party favorite, Mayor Curtis became the Republican candidate by winning the primary election in the Utah Third District on August 15, 2017. Mayor Curtis supports immigration reform and believes we should focus on securing the border, being tough on illegal immigrants who have committed multiple or serious crimes, making it easier for people to immigrate legally, and providing opportunities for restitution (giving people the chance to “get right with the law”). Mayor Curtis is committed to simplifying the tax code and advocates a government health care system that defines contributions, not benefits. For more information on Mayor John Curtis, visit https://johncurtis.org/.
The challenges that face our country sometimes appear so large and complex that it just seems simpler to plant our heads in the sand and let things happen as they will. But what truly makes America great are the individuals who take a stand for what they believe in and try to make a difference in their community. If you’ve never paid much attention to local politics, accept this challenge to learn about the Dr. Allen, Mayor Curtis, and the other candidates for the Utah Third District congressional seat. Familiarize yourself with their positions on the issues that are most important to you, then let your voice be heard by casting a vote! In doing so, we are choosing to do our part in making our community a better place.
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