Utah’s candidates for Governor faced off in first debate


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News)— Friday, The Utah League of Cities and Towns hosted the state’s first gubernatorial debate at the Salt Palace. In-person member attendance was low as a majority attended virtually.

“In bringing the first utah gubernatorial debate of this election season, the League Presidnet said.

245 local municipalities and its leaders were in attendance. As Democratic Candidate for Governor law professor Chris Peterson and Republican Candidate current Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, met on the debate stage.

“That’s why I am in this race is to try and serve you and improve the quality of life,” Peterson said.

The Lieutenant Governor also made his pitch to voters.

“If I get the opportunity to serve for the next four years we will continue to work together in those ways- improve the economy of Utah and the education of our children,” he said.

The two argued issues close to Utah, including COVID 19 and whether the state’s current response is enough.

“We need to immediately transition to a statewide mask mandate I respect and want to work with local governments but the problem is we are seeding different infections from one community to the other. Second, we need to decrease testing times to no more than 24 hours,” Peterson said

Lieutenant Governor Cox rebutted.

“Now, we have a Unified Command that reports to the Lieutenant Governor and the Governor we work very closely with medical experts across the state of course with local government officials and we are putting in place everything we can to reduce the spread in Utah County and that we don’t spread it to other areas,” Cox said.

Police reform was another hot topic. Both candidates shared their ideas on new and already existing policies.

“Making sure our officers have all the mental health and counselling they need,” Peterson said.

“Making sure we have more resources and more hours training time on some of these deselection tactics that are so critical,” Cox said.

Both sides agree, with growth comes change.

“We need to make sure we are investing in infrastructure to prepare ourselves for growth,” Peterson said.

And Cox echoed.

“Where density proceeds infrastructure we see the quality of life decline”.

The candidates will have another debate that’s hosted by the Utah Debate Commission on September 29th.

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