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Love And Owens Spar In Fourth District Debate

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News - Pool Photo
Republican Congresswoman Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens meet in the Utah Debate Commission's Fourth District Debate.

Republican Congresswoman Mia Love and Democratic challenger Doug Owens faced off in a debate Monday night over issues facing the Fourth Congressional District.  

As the debate began, moderator Ken Verdoia quickly asked who the candidates who they are supporting for President. Mia Love continued to withhold her support for anyone.

“Hillary Clinton doesn’t represent my values. Donald Trump doesn’t represent my values. I have been looking into the other candidates and, you know, again, I have not closed the door on the other candidates,” said Love.

Owens said he would vote for Hillary Clinton, but wouldn’t mention the candidate by name.

“Now I have said I am voting for my party’s nominee, but that’s not – I have not endorsed any candidate. I am not participating in any race. I am trying to do what I can for Utah,” said Owens.

The debate took place at Salt Lake Community College and students questioned the candidates on a number of issues including cost of education, the gender wage gap and the economy.

“So when I graduate, I want to work a full-time job.”

Student Connor Holt asked what the candidates would do to create jobs for college graduates. Love said government regulation is to blame for slow job growth.

“First of all, job creation through innovation. Removing regulation that is really stifling our small businesses. It is harder for us to open up a small business today than it’s ever been in our history,” said Love.

Owens said some regulation is necessary to provide equal access to employment.

“You know it doesn’t bother me that the kid flipping burgers is not earning what the CEO of the company is. What does bother me and I know bothers everybody in this room is if that kid never has a shot at that job,” said Owens.

The candidates also sparred over climate change, gun violence and Owens’ accusation that Love used taxpayer money to send campaign mailers.  The debate was presented by the Utah Debate Commission.  

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