Longtime Republican politician Mitt Romney eyes the U.S. Senate seat long held by Sen. Orrin Hatch, but Democratic candidate Jenny Wilson is looking to pull the upset in this year’s election.
Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts and 2012 presidential candidate, easily won the Republican primary earlier this year in efforts to replace Hatch, who has held the senate seat for Utah since 1977.
While Romney is looking for a comeback into the political arena, Wilson is trying to become the first liberal progressive to represent Utah in decades.
The Globe sent a questionnaire to both of the candidates; Wilson was the only one to respond. As a result, we searched Romney’s campaign website to collect information about his platform.
Here is where each candidate stands on some of the political issues that currently influence the country.
Unlike many other issues, Romney and Wilson both have fairly similar views on how the opioid crisis should be handled.
On her website, Wilson says she would “strongly support increasing federal funding for treatment and access to both lifesaving and treatment drugs.”
Romney says that a “multi-front approach” is needed to fight this epidemic. He says that he also supports funding for treatment, but he also says that the U.S. needs to pressure other countries where the drugs are often coming from.
The debate over how to properly manage public lands will certainly influence many votes in Utah this year.
In the questionnaire, Wilson makes it clear that Wilson is for the federal protections that the Antiquities Act provides the national parks in the country.
“I oppose the idea of federal lands being managed by the state,” she says.
She also states she is fighting for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments to be restored to their original boundaries.
Romney feels quite the opposite.
On his website, Romney says, “With two-thirds of Utah held as public land, it is my priority to obtain greater local and state involvement in decision-making and management of public lands.”
He further explains that more control to the state will eliminate “land grabs” by the federal government.
Energy and the environment
Romney and Wilson both say that they support clean energy, yet their ideas on how to get clean energy differ.
On his website, Romney says, “I support the utilization of all our energy resources including gas, coal, wind, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, and solar.” His website also mentions that he will “support greater efficiency standards in cars, trucks, and factories to reduce energy consumption and pollution.”
Wilson’s campaign website doesn’t mention the coal or oil industries, but does stress the need for alternative energy and for tighter regulations on industries that create pollution.
“I oppose President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement combating climate change,” she says on her website.
The withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is not the only thing that Wilson opposes from the President. In the answered questionnaire, Wilson says “the policies of this administration do not reflect American – nor Utah – values.”
Though Romney has criticized President Trump in the past, he appears to agree with some of Trump’s actions and has a willingness to work well with the administration.
However, Romney firmly believes in state rights, saying, “States should guide their own policies regarding such matters as education, transportation, healthcare, care for the poor, and school safety.”
The election between Romney and Wilson will take place Nov. 6, along with the rest of the candidates for public offices.