Commentary: Why I am running for Congress on the United Utah Party ticket

I’ll be free as a representative in 2nd District to vote for the people.

(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

My yoga instructor asked, while twisting her arms behind her back, “What makes you think you can do any better than Jim Bennett?”

I reminded her that Utahns think independently and demonstrated that in the last presidential election, when 22 percent of them voted for a candidate other than the Republican or Democrat. Another yoga exerciser, in the middle of a difficult leg stretch, commented that she had been looking for an alternative in that election.

The alternative the United Utah Party offers is practicality, not partisanship. I told my exercise buddies, in between a warrior one stance, that Bennett’s Republican opponent, John Curtis, was someone the voters believed would be pragmatic. After all, Curtis had once been a Democrat but was now a Republican, which suggested that he wouldn’t be beholden to party orthodoxy.

I know plenty of people who supported Curtis who are now disappointed with him because, after he won, he succumbed to the pressures of party loyalty. An independent candidate like me does not have to answer to a political boss or party machine that will make life unbearable if I step out of line. I’ll be free as a representative in 2nd District to vote for the people, unlike Chris Stewart, who is always obligated to vote with his party regardless of whether or not its proposals are in the best interests of the people he represents.

In the last presidential election, people were deeply dissatisfied with two extremely flawed candidates, and they were hungry for alternatives. This congressional race provides an opportunity to make a real choice rather than simply give in to a broken two-party system.

Jan Garbett

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