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Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

Utah Congressional Candidate Burgess Owens Speaks At RNC: 'We Stand At A Crossroads'

Burgess Owens
Sonja Hutson/ KUER News
Republican candidate for Utah's 4th Congressional District, Burgess Owens, spoke at the Republican National Convention Wednesday evening.

Burgess Owens, the Republican candidate for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, spoke at the Republican National Convention Wednesday evening. He talked about how he and his great great grandfather, who was enslaved, achieved the American dream, and argued that President Donald Trump has helped entrepreneurs. 

“I was raised in the South during the days of Jim Crow and the KKK,” Owens said. “Even through the challenges of segregation, we were taught that anything is possible in America.”

Owens said his ancestors escaped slavery, and went on to own “102 acres of farmland.” 

He also shared his own story of overcoming economic difficulty. After a 10 year career in the NFL, he said he started a business, which failed. 

“As I moved my family of six into a one-bedroom basement apartment in Brooklyn, New York, I had a choice to make: feel sorry for myself or get to work,” he said, adding that he worked as a chimney sweep and a security guard, and eventually “started a rewarding career in the corporate world.” 

Americans are encouraged to “dream big,” Owens argued, but Democrats don’t send that message to the country. The Repubican candidate also criticized socialism and the “radical left.” 

“This November, we stand at a crossroads,” he said. “Mobs torch our cities while popular members of Congress promote the same socialism my father fought against in World War II. We have a Democrat candidate for president who says that I’m not not black if I don’t vote for him.” 

Owens praised record low black unemployment under the Trump administration, although that was part of a steady decline since 2010.

“I’m running for Congress because we don’t need more career politicians,” he said. “We need a few more chimney sweeps. We need more leaders like President Trump who understand the freedoms that make up the fabric of America.”

Sonja Hutson covers politics for KUER. Follow her on Twitter @SonjaHutson

Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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