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Politics & Government

Candidates For Utah’s 1st Congressional District ‘Very Civil’ In First Debate Before Election

Two men debating
Kristin Murphy/ Deseret News
/
Deseret News
Republican Blake Moore and Democrat Darren Perry, candidates in the 1st Congressional District, participate in a debate at the Triad Center in Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020.

The debate between Republican Blake Moore and Democrat Darren Parry, who are vying to replace outgoing Congressman Rob Bishop, R-UT, in the state’s 1st Congressional District, was, in a word, polite.

That was BretAnne Powers’ biggest takeaway. Powers, 31, lives in Layton and is a constituent in the district. She said she tuned into the debate because she wants to learn more about politics outside of national races.

“It was very civil,” Powers said. “One of them had mentioned that they’ll stay out of the news and not be controversial. I really liked that from both candidates.”

Parry and Moore each agreed on things like the need for bipartisanship in Washington, preventing wildfires through forest management and that both of them will get the coronavirus vaccine when it’s available.

One area where they differed was military funding. While he supports Hill Air Force Base, which is a big economic driver in the 1st District, Parry said the U.S. needs to re-prioritize.

“My grandmother, a tribal elder, taught me the most important lesson I ever heard, and that is our Native American community is only as strong as the most vulnerable,” he said. “We can spend less on defense and put more out to the people that need it.”

Moore said there’s definitely waste in the defense budget, but cutting that alone won’t solve the federal deficit.

“China’s not slowing down in their enhancements on their military,” he said. “Their economy is going through a situation where they’re ultimately going to be relying heavily on their military. I hope that day never comes, but that means we need to continue to be at the cutting edge.”

As a Democrat, Powers said she’s still leaning toward Parry — but after the debate, she said she wouldn’t mind Moore as her representative, either.

The event was likely the only debate between the two candidates before the Nov. 3l election.

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