OREM, Utah (AP) — Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, and his Democratic competitor, James Singer, squared off in a debate in the race for the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
Curtis is the former mayor of Provo, and Singer is a sociology professor at Salt Lake Community College.
Curtis cited four bills he sponsored that passed through the House of Representatives in the last year. He also promised to use his position to advocate for limited government and conservative principles.
Singer, who is Navajo, said he would bring “a fresh new perspective” desperately lacking on Capitol Hill. He also said he would work to secure “the promise for democracy from now into perpetuity” in the face of what he called a rising tendency toward authoritarianism in Washington.
“The things that I think make us different is our entire philosophy about what the role of government is,” Singer said after the debate. “For me, the role of government is to make sure that we have the right kinds of public resources to make sure we have individual, prosperous lives.”
The candidates also differed on the $1.5 trillion tax package pushed by President Donald Trump and passed by Congress last year. Curtis called it “a very important piece of legislation” and said he bristles when it’s described as a tax cut for the rich.
Singer said the tax cut is another example of “major giveaways have been given to those lazy loafers at the top while hardworking-class Americans and those in the middle class are bearing the brunt.”
Besides Singer, United Utah Party candidate Tim Zeidner and Independent American Party candidate Gregory Duerden are also challenging Curtis’ bid for what would be his first full two-year term in office.
Curtis took over former Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat in last year’s special election.