Ben McAdams, Democratic candidate for Utah’s 4th Congressional District (Incumbent)
Occupation: Member of Congress
Hometown: West Bountiful, Utah
Residence: Salt Lake City
Education: University of Utah, Columbia University Law School
1. What is your position on Utah’s coronavirus response and do you support mask mandates?
I have worked to protect the health and safety of Utahns during the COVID-19 emergency by lowering drug costs, making sure they keep health care coverage even with a pre-existing condition, supporting small business and jobs, hospitals, and public schools. In the face of this pandemic, I believe Utah’s state and local leaders have done a good job on the health and safety guidelines and supporting small businesses and employees. I was hospitalized for eight days with COVID-19 and I know how serious the virus is. I support local officials and health departments on the need to wear masks. Wearing a face covering and social distancing protects those in the high-risk category from being exposed to this virus. It’s also important for keeping our economy open and giving consumers confidence that they can return to work, school and shopping safely.
2. What is your view on the ongoing protests for racial equity and police reform?
Our country is dealing with the fact that too many Black Americans are dying at the hands of some in law enforcement. I voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which includes reforms such as raising accountability for law enforcement by requiring body cameras, and training and de-escalation measures to reduce deadly interactions. I do not support defunding the police. Violence and vandalism are not okay. It must stop. I have worked with Utah law enforcement to keep communities safe and I know most to be dedicated professionals. I stood with Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera recently to announce additional federal funding for local police grants to assist with training and recruitment based on local needs.
3. What are the top three issues affecting Utahns?
The issues I hear about most are the ongoing response to COVID-19 and the need to pursue a safe and effective vaccine; supporting small businesses and their employees, and access to quality, affordable health care. Our economy and our quality of life depend on Utahns returning to school and to their jobs safely and minimizing the spread of this highly-contagious virus so at-risk individuals are protected and our health care system isn’t overwhelmed. Utah has one of the best employment recovery records in the country. I will continue to support individuals, small businesses and their employees receiving the financial relief necessary to move out of the economic downturn. This is not the time for any Utahn to lose their health care and I am fighting to protect access to coverage, including for those with pre-existing conditions, and to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
4. How will you vote in the presidential election?
I will vote for Joe Biden.
5. What, if anything would you like to communicate to Salt Lake Community College students specifically?
I have been an independent voice for Utahns, building relationships across the aisle. I’m ranked as the most independent member of Utah’s Congressional delegation and the second-most independent member of Congress nationwide. I put Utah first, ahead of any political party. My bipartisan approach has meant that I can be effective for my state and my constituents, delivering on legislation to improve air quality, move us towards a clean energy economy, protect the environment, take action to help prevent suicide, protect our kids from online predators and stop this administration from restarting dangerous and unnecessary explosive nuclear weapons testing. I’m proud that my campaign attracts energetic and committed students from Salt Lake Community College and other campuses and I’m grateful for the dedicated young adults who are actively making a difference and moving Utah forward.