US Senate candidates Isom, Edwards address Chamber of Commerce
Republican U.S. Senate candidates Ally Isom and Becky Edwards spoke at the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce’s executive roundtable meeting Thursday morning at the Riverside Country Club, looking to separate themselves from each other and incumbent Sen. Mike Lee.
Both candidates had approximately 30 minutes to give a speech about their campaign and why they should be the party’s nominee.
Isom introduced herself as a “classic Republican” who stands on traditional Republican beliefs.
“I believe the Republican party stands for principles,” Isom said. “This is why I’m running. I’m a good old-fashioned Reagan Republican.”
Isom said that through her campaign, in almost every Utah community she’s visited, water was the number one priority in the area.
“At the federal level, it’s really one of the vantage points where you see all the communities together,” Isom said. “You need someone who is willing to fight the hard fights and work with other states because this crosses boundaries. We recognize that we can’t make more water, but we have to defend the water we have.”
Her plan to aid the economy was tied to inflation and the energy industry, for the U.S. to become dominant in energy independence.
“We are paying $4.50 for gas as everyday Utahns, but the bigger picture is we are sitting on some of the cleanest energy resources in the world,” she said. “Our country is now more energy vulnerable because we gave up our energy independence. When it comes to energy, I’m an all of the above person. We can have green energy and fossil fuels. We have to be wise about what we are doing.”
Her third goal was to have government work within set budgets and to start lowering the federal debt, slowly over time.
If elected, Isom has pledged to serve two terms and no more, saying that spending too much time in Washington D.C. changes people, a challenge to Lee. Throughout her campaign, Isom has called out the sitting senator for a promise he made to serve only two terms. Lee is seeking his third.
Edwards, a former Utah House member, has seen Utah grow over her many years as a resident of Davis County.
“This is a great state full of great people,” Edwards said. “One thing I do know, since day one of this election, we have continued to be a leading Republican challenger in this race to unseat, with all due respect, our good Senator Lee with someone who I think has some room for improvement in terms of his ability and intentionality to get things done.”
Edwards is also an advocate for energy independence. It, along with immigration and family economic prosperity were her three main priorities to address if elected.
“For far too long we haven’t had a strong Republican voice on this issue,” Edwards said. “This includes supporting and strengthen our natural gas and oil. We have some of the cleanest product anywhere in the country. It’s really inspiring. In addition, having strategic investments in renewables is key.”
Edwards also wants to address immigration by finding a balance between ensuring safety for American citizens and not limiting those who wish to enter the U.S. legally.
The third issue for Edwards is an umbrella term that covers multiple topics — family economic prosperity.
“These are things that matter to families, parents, women in the workforce and people in businesses,” she said. “Today people are talking a lot about how to grow and maintain happy employees. How important it is providing childcare to employees so they can come to work and promote your business. Affordable housing I’m throwing in this too because if people can’t afford to live here no one will be able attract and retain employees to grow your businesses.”
Attendees of the event had an opportunity to meet both candidates after their presentations. Former Gov. Gary Herbert, now the executive director of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce, was also in attendance.
Both Isom and Edwards, in recent days, have made public statements regarding to the schedule June 2 primary debate between the three GOP candidates. On Thursday, Edwards confirmed she will participate in the debate, saying “I don’t see a reason why any candidate would choose not to participate in the debate organized by the Utah Debate Commission or why it shouldn’t move forward as planned.”
Isom on Wednesday confirmed she, too, will debate — specifically by calling out Lee for avoiding questions, according to a campaign press release, and questioning the state GOP’s reasoning for questioning if the debate should happen as scheduled.
“I’ve been in politics long enough to know a scheme when I smell one. Some speculate Lee’s the one pulling the strings of our state GOP. Maybe it’s only a coincidence. Some speculate Lee’s unsure how to navigate a stage with two female challengers. Well, in 2022, I certainly hope that’s not the case. ”
The GOP primary will be held June 28.