SALT LAKE CITY — While many ballots have already been sent out, Utahns still have three weeks until the 2018 general election.
The Nov. 6 election has generated plenty of discussion on the federal end since it’s the halfway point in President Donald Trump’s first term. There’s been speculation for months on whether the election will tip the congressional scale. The Republican Party has had majority control of the House of Representatives since 2011 and the Senate since 2015.
This will be first race Utahns will be asked to vote on in their ballots. Whoever wins will replace Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was first elected in 1976 and announced his retirement in January. Hatch isn’t just the longest-serving senator in Utah history, he will become the sixth-longest serving senator in U.S. history on Nov. 3.
Here are the candidates on the ballot:
Craig Bowden, Libertarian Party
Bowden, of North Ogden, states he is a small business owner and Marine Corps, infantry veteran. On his website, Bowden writes he “has dedicated his life to the preservation of liberty, both economic and social as a candidate, activist, and member of the Libertarian Party.”
His platform includes protecting the 2nd Amendment and ending the criminalization of marijuana and other drugs, as well as repealing the Patriot Act on national security.
Jenny Wilson, Democratic Party
Wilson is the daughter of former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson and, in 2004, was the first woman elected to the Salt Lake County Council. As a councilwoman, she wrote on her website that she has “worked across party lines to forge consensus on issues affecting the daily lives of all Utah families.”
She received 81 percent of the vote at the Utah Democratic Party State Convention back in April to win the nomination. Her platform includes “comprehensive, compassionate and family-centered” immigration reform, restoring boundaries of Utah’s national monuments, minimizing tax cuts for corporations and expanding Medicaid in Utah.
Mitt Romney, Republican Party
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate, defeated Mike Kennedy in a primary 72-28 percent to win the GOP nomination in June. That nomination came after he announced in February that he planned to run to replace Hatch.
He states on his website that he supports the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, “measures to secure our national borders,” and measures to curtail the opioid crisis, as well as state-based approaches to gun laws and school safety measures.
Reed C. McCandless, Independent American Party
McCandless, who says he’s a former Republican, he “felt inspired” to run for Senate and “hopes to bring Utah values to the Capitol.”
Tim Aalders, Constitution Party
Aalders, who states he is a small business owner and business consultant living in Highland, is also a former conservative talk host. His platform includes keeping the 2nd Amendment untouched, adjustments to health care and curb government spending.
House of Representatives
All four Utah congressional incumbents are seeking re-election in 2018. Three of the four are seeking at least their third term in office. Rep. John Curtis, who won a special election last year to fill a vacancy when Jason Chaffetz stepped down, is the only person seeking first re-election.
Polls show District 4, which is between incumbent Mia Love, R-Utah, and Democratic candidate Ben McAdams is the closest of the four races heading into the final three weeks before the election.
Adam Davis, Green Party
Davis told KPCW in Park City that he grew up in Ogden and is against the two-party system.
Davis’s platform includes a Worker’s Bill of Rights that would eliminate involuntary unemployment, universal health care, committing to 100 percent renewable energy and changing the voting system.
Eric Eliason, United Utah Party
A Logan resident, Eliason made political waves in September by becoming just the second ever third-party candidate to qualify for a Utah Debate Commission-sponsored debate. He was an adjunct professor at Utah State University and his website also states he worked a president and chief operating officer at different businesses in the district.
His platform includes health care reform, using some public land for natural resource extraction but preserving Utah’s “historical culture, breathtaking vistas and unique, world-class landscapes” and balancing the federal budget.
Lee Castillo, Democratic Party
Castillo, of Layton, is a mental health therapist and social worker. He states he is running to represent the vast diversity within the district.
His platform includes creating a pathway for “Dreamers” to receive citizenship, closing the income inequality gap, increasing universal background checks for gun owners and creating a universal health care system.
Rob Bishop, Republican Party
Bishop is the longest-serving member of Utah’s all-GOP congressional delegation, taking office after winning in the 2002 election. He’s currently the chair of the House Committee on Natural Resources. He was a teacher and state representative prior to that.
His platform includes border security, state-mandated school systems and reform the Social Security program to be “more fiscally sound, without raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, or increasing taxes.”
Chris Stewart, Republican Party
Stewart, an Air Force veteran and author, first took office after winning the 2012 election. He also owned an energy and environmental consultant business.
His platform includes immigration through “a documented process,” transferring public land to local leaders and residents, and repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it.
Jeffrey Whipple, Libertarian Party
Whipple writes that he has worked in management at large and small businesses, and has lived in Utah since 1996.
His platform includes ending mandatory minimum sentences in the criminal justice system, ending the U.S. “war on drugs,” tax cuts and removing troops from foreign countries.
Shireen Ghorbani, Democratic Party
Ghorbani, a Salt Lake City resident, is the associate director of PR and communications at the University of Utah. She writes that health care is a major reason why she is running, noting on her website that her mother was battling cancer at the time of the 2016 election.
Her platform includes reforming health care and allowing “Medicare and Medicaid to be able to negotiate drug prices like the VA can,” protecting and supporting national monuments and raising the minimum wage.
Gregory C. Duerden, Independent American Party
Duerden is a former media reporter and producer, and author throughout Utah and the western U.S.
His platform includes cutting personal and business taxes, as well as eliminating any sales tax on food nationally, cutting federal spending and making the government more open and transparent aside from national security issues.
James Singer, Democratic Party
A Kearns native, Singer is a diversity fellow in sociology an ethnic studies at Salt Lake Community College and an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts of Community Leadership program at Westminster College, according to his website.
His platform includes restoring Bears Ears National Monument and protecting other public lands, close the wage gap for women and racial minorities, and “restore power to workers, employees and labor unions.”View full platform here.
John Curtis, Republican Party
Curtis, who won a 2017 special election, was the Provo mayor prior to taking office.
His platform includes switching ownership of former national monument land to state and local officials, ensuring the internet “remains open, free, and able to continue to innovate and thrive” and capping increases to government spending.
Timothy L. Zeidner, United Utah Party.
Ziedner is a Cedar Hills resident with a Ph.D. in educational policy at Vanderbilt, according to his website.
His platform includes solving immigration challenges through diplomacy, balancing the federal budget by curbing spending and reforming the education system.
Ben McAdams, Democratic Party
McAdams is the current the Salt Lake County Mayor, who touts his ability to work with Republicans in addressing homelessness, the county budget and jobs in the county.
His platform includes amending the Affordable Care Act “rather than scrapping it,” a reformed tax code and more access to federal aid in the education system.
Mia Love, Republican Party
Love is running for her third term in office, first taking over after defeating Doug Owen in the 2014 election to replace outgoing Congressman Jim Matheson. She was the Saratoga Springs mayor prior to that.
Her platform includes repealing the Affordable Care Act and reforming the national health care system, supporting tax cuts and having a state-based education system.
Utahns still have until Oct. 30 to register to vote, which can be done online or in person at a resident’s county clerk. Residents can also register to vote on Election Day if they bring an ID and a proof of residence to their polling location.