Here’s where Utah’s CD2 third party candidates land on the economy and foreign aid
As voters in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District gear up to send in their ballots, they might encounter a few names that weren’t present at the recent debate, including three third party candidates.
January Walker with the United Utah Party, Cassie Easley with the Constitution Party and Brad Green with the Libertarian Party didn’t qualify to face off against Republican Celeste Maloy and Democratic nominee Kathleen Riebe. But they still have opinions on how to handle the economy and America’s role in global conflict — both were hot topic subjects for Maloy and Riebe in their debate.
United Utah Party candidate January Walker has been on the ballot before. She ran against Republican U.S. Rep. Burgess Owens in Utah’s 4th Congressional District in 2022.
Walker doesn’t agree with President Joe Biden’s call on Congress to approve a $105 billion aid package that would in part help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and Israel fight Hamas.
“I don't support war. So the best way to stop war is to remove its funding,” she said.
Walker considers herself a pacifist. She was raised in a military family and has witnessed “the scars of war last generations.” Walker believes the role of the U.S. in Ukraine and Israel should be “dissipating any kind of anger towards each of the sides.”
Constitution Party candidate Cassie Easley doesn’t endorse Biden’s aid proposal either. She said Congress shouldn’t be giving any other country money to fight a war. Rather, America should focus on “building ourselves up first before we decide to try and help anyone else.”
“We do have the constitutional right and, I believe, obligation to make sure that we have everything that we need in case war comes knocking at our door,” Easley said in a video responding to questions asked in the Oct. 26 debate.
The only aspect of the aid package she agrees with is the $13.6 billion set aside to help secure the southern U.S.-Mexico border because there is “an invasion going on right there and we need to stop it.”
Easley also doesn’t believe that Biden should be asking for war funding, rather those conversations should stay strictly within Congress.
Libertarian Party candidate Brad Green doesn’t believe America should have any involvement in the Israel-Hamas war, or any foreign conflict. He said Israel “has been attacked by terrorists” and is allowed to defend itself, but the United States, however, “should not officially get involved,” Green told KUER via email. “No funding, no gifts of ships or planes and no troops.”
If elected, he said he would also support ending aid to Ukraine, but he would not divert those funds to Israel.
“My vote would always be to end foreign aid. We should not be meddling in the politics of other countries,” Green said.
On the economy, Walker believes there is going to be increased spending until Congress gets a hold on the Federal Reserve. She said she wouldn’t support a government shutdown but she does want to see a better grip on spending.
“Let's keep the United States open and implement systems that allow us to track and trace spending down to the very last penny and figure out where all the money that we've created is going,” Walker said.
The more productive thing to do, Walker said, is for voters to replace members of Congress who are making a “grandstand” as a means of getting “attention from people on the outside.”
“It's time to fire them next year because they're not actually trying to serve you, they’re trying to serve themselves,” she said.
Easley thinks more federal spending leads to the American people paying higher taxes, which she is against. She feels that “we need to tighten our belts on the federal level” and quit expecting citizens to “work hard for their money to give the government money to do what they want with it.”
Easley said she’s in favor of a government shutdown if it came down to it because it would force Congress to act since employees aren’t getting paid.
“I think that the government needs to realize that we cannot compromise the people anymore,” she said. “I think the best thing would be for them to shut down, because then they'd really have to come together and work to do the right thing.”
For Green, “inflation is caused by deficit spending” that predominantly hurts poor and middle class America. He would support a government shutdown because “an intervention is badly needed” to get federal spending under control.
“I want a government small enough to fit into the Constitution,” he said. “I think it's appropriate to shut down government as often as needed to return it to its proper order and preserve it inside the proper roles of government as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.”
But he isn’t keen on a total government shutdown. He supports shuttering “non-essential government services in order to fix runaway spending.”
Only voters in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District are eligible to vote to replace Republican Rep. Chris Stewart. He resigned due to his wife’s health issues, but his House seat has remained vacant since Sep. 18.
Election Day is Nov. 21. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked the day before on Nov. 20.