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4th Congressional District Candidates McAdams, Owens Take Debate Stage

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Fourth Congressional District candidates Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams and Republican challenger Burgess Owens met at KSL for their only debate on Monday.

This is a race that’s attracting national interest with McAdams, Utah’s only Democrat in Congress, running for re-election against Owens, a former NFL player.

And in their debate Monday night, the candidates disagreed on many topics including Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.

Utah Fourth Congressional District Debate

LIVE: KSL hosts the debate between Fourth Congressional District candidates Democrat Ben McAdams and Republican Burgess Owens.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Monday, October 12, 2020

“But simply saying that you want to protect people with pre-existing conditions is not going to protect them. we have to keep the protections in place right now,” McAdams said. “I’d be curious what your plan is to protect those people. because simply saying it isn’t going to do it.”

“I am a cancer survivor,” Owens said. “I understand what pre-existing conditions are all about. And at the end of the day, we have right now, already in place, an executive order by President Trump and Congress has passed laws that said this will be protected. So to bring this up as an issue is using fear.”

McAdams said Owens’ website called for a repeal of the health care law, but Owens said that’s not true and that he wants to reform it.

The Black Lives Matter movement prompted more back and forth, with McAdams calling for more work toward racial equality while Owens said it’s a totally false idea that America has systemic racism.

“The most powerful thing that we have is our ability to communicate with each other, talk to each other, care for each other, and no one does it better than we do,” Owens said. “So no, there is not systemic racism, people. I grew up in that environment. I can tell you with a family that has the color of a rainbow, my personal family, that’s not the case.”

“And I hear from people all across our community who feel that doors aren’t open to them that they may try as hard as they may try to get ahead and they’re not afforded the same opportunities,” McAdams said. “And so I look internally, what can I do to contribute to healing the divisions that exist in our county.”

The response to the pandemic also a topic Monday, with McAdams calling for a compromise in congress for more stimulus funding. Owens said he wants the next aid package to be targeted, saying he doesn’t want to encourage people not to work.

A lot of national money has flowed into this campaign. Even though the district leans Republican, it’s a battleground district that McAdams won in 2018 by fewer than 700 votes.

KSL 5 TV Live

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