By: Miranda Collette
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah delegates have until the end of April to complete the difficult task of determining who will represent Utah’s fourth congressional district in Washington.
Former fourth district representative Jim Matheson’s, D-West Jordan, spot in the Congressional House of Representatives is up for grabs this year, and Bob Fuehr and Mia Love are competing to fill that position. The seat was just recently made available in 2010 to more fairly represent people living in parts of Salt Lake County, Utah County, Juab County and Sanpete County.
Both candidates have platforms that highlight their differing visions for the United States — however, they have one vision in common: rebuilding the American dream.
Fuehr, whose mother was unable to get a college education, said he is proud of both his Harvard degree and his ability to go from climbing telephone poles to becoming the vice president corporate officer at a Fortune 100 company.
Love also claims to represent the American dream, as her parents immigrated form Haiti with just $10; their past hardships didn’t stop her from becoming the mayor of Saratoga Springs.
“My parents throughout their life didn’t just show me the love they had for me, but they shared with me this vision: that if I worked hard enough, this vision of living all the possibilities of the American dream,” Love said.
Both Love and Fuehr believe they are shining examples of the rags-to-riches story — something that anchors both their political agendas.
Fuehr’s platform is based on his belief that America’s main focus should be creating jobs — something he said he believes he can do, and that Love can’t, based upon his finance-savvy background.
“I think it’s the depth and breath of my experience (that sets him apart from Love),” Fuehr said. “When you look at my 30-plus years of big business experience … all that background goes into your decision-making, and I think that decision-making potential from that business experience really makes the difference.”
Fuehr emphasized that by turning small businesses into medium-sized businesses, he predicts more of society’s problems will go away by default.
“Number two (goal) is get the federal public lands sent back to Utah, and number three is reduce waste in the United States,” Fuehr said.
According to Fuehr, the Federal Government owns 70 percent of Utah’s land, something the people of Utah should be benefitting from.
But Love believes she knows best when it comes to what Utahns and Americans will and will not benefit from.
She claims that her experiences as a parent and city council member have positioned her perfectly to act as a messenger in Washington.
“People have no idea what we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and that’s frustrating,” Love said. “The message is that … our country won’t be fixed by political elites, but by us.”
Love emphasized she was no different from the delegates she was trying to convince and that by working together a solution for the Washington gridlock can be found. Her campaign centers on ideals of sustainability, affordability and constitutionality.
“I believe in fiscal discipline, limited government and personal responsibility,” Love said. “I think it’s outrageous that anyone would say we need another Harvard graduate to fix our problems in Washington, and that we as people are incapable of making decisions on our own, to fix our country.”
Both candidates expressed their frustration with Washington saying they could be the one to put the end to the current stalemate that exists there.
“Negotiating became a big part of my success; you have to start concentrating on those areas where we agree and build upon that, rather than constant bickering where we disagree,” Fuehr said.
Love said her solution to gridlock is focused on the individual — saying the changes Americans are looking for start with basic decisions that are made in the home.
“Personal responsibility is making sure we have the ability to make decisions in our homes and reap the benefits of those decisions,” Love said. “When it comes down to limited government, my job is to make sure the decision is as close to the people as possible. Making Washington smaller and making us, as people, bigger.”