SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Representative Burgess Owens did not attend the Fourth Congressional District Debate, presenting a unique challenge for a new pilot program. 

The program is called the Dignity Index. It rates the public messages of Utah’s Federal Senate and House Candidates. The group planned to rank the Fourth Congressional District Candidates this week based on what they said at the debate. 

“We want to be inclusive, but we also want to stick to the mission of the index, which is to look at the speech. Score the speech,” said Utah Project Lead for the Dignity Project, Tami Pyfer. 

Pyfer would not comment on Owen’s decision and said the team focuses strictly on the language each candidate uses. Pyfer said they will meet on Thursday to discuss how to handle this week’s scoring… including whether to give Owens a score at all.