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Stay up to date on all the latest from the campaign trail with KUER's coverage of the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

2nd District Candidates Stewart and Robles Meet in Debate

Photo pool, The Salt Lake Tribune

The major party candidates vying to represent Utah’s second congressional district met in a debate Thursday. Republican Congressman Chris Stewart and Democratic challenger Luz Robles faced off in front of a live audience at Southern Utah University in Cedar City.

Chris Stewart and Luz Robles were cordial throughout the debate and avoided personal attacks, but they had clear differences of opinion on a number of topics. On same sex marriage, Robles called it an issue of equality, while Stewart emphasized his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. On immigration, Stewart opposed comprehensive reform. Robles blamed Congress for inaction.

The two had fundamentally different views on the role of the federal government in helping Americans reach their dreams. Stewart said as a businessman, he knows how to create jobs.

“Americans are the hardest working  people in the world. Let’s let them keep more of the money they make,” Stewart said. “Let’s let them keep that to invest to create more jobs, to create more economic opportunity for people.”

Robles said the government has an important role to play in creating opportunities for jobs and education.

“One of the things I would like to address is fairness in the process of wealth distribution,” Robles said. “I work with businesses every day as the Vice President for Zions Bank. I think it’s critical that we bring fairness to the taxation process.”

The two agreed that they would like to see more voter participation, and they hoped that the debate would help raise awareness about their campaigns. Outside the auditorium, third party candidates protested their exclusion from the debate. The Utah Debate Commission set a 10-percent threshold for participation.

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