POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Republican challenger calls Rep. Owens a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates

May 31, 2022, 5:56 PM

Challenger Jake Hunsaker speaking outside of Burgess Owens office....

Challenger Jake Hunsaker speaking outside of Burgess Owens office.

DRAPER, Utah – The Republican challenger in Utah’s 4th Congressional District calls incumbent Rep. Burgess Owens a “coward” for not participating in upcoming debates.

Challenger Jake Hunsaker held a press conference outside Owens’s congressional office in Draper, Utah Tuesday afternoon. He spoke on Owens’s lack of participation and the Utah Republican Party for discouraging debates not sanctioned by the party.

The Utah Debate Commission scheduled a debate between Hunsaker and Owens for Wednesday, which Hunsaker is only attending.

“This, unfortunately, comes as no surprise to Congressional District Four voters like me,” Hunsaker told KSL-TV. “Owens has been absent from Utah since the day he took office. He’s afraid of tough questions. Nervous, he’ll incriminate himself.”

Hunsaker continued at the press conference claiming that Owens is using name recognition as his only tool to win the election.

“This is just another sign of my opponent views the entire electoral process as a threat to his game of toxic electoral politics rather than an essential piece of the American democracy,” Hunsaker said.

He also went after GOP leaders for not pushing candidates to debate in non-GOP sponsored debates.

“GOP leaders, don’t be a safe haven for absenteeism and cowardice,” Hunsaker said.

Earlier in May, GOP Chairman Carson Jorgensen asked candidates not to participate in Utah Debate Commission debates.

 

The Facebook post from the Utah Republican Party on May 10th asking candidates to only debate in GOP sponsored events.

He claims that Owens has rejected four possible debates, but Owens’s campaign refutes these accusations.

“It’s unfortunate that our opponent has chosen to launch his political career by engaging in mudslinging and lies. The people of Utah deserve better,” Jesse Ranney, Owens campaign spokesman, told Deseret News. “These are desperate lies being spread by our political opponent.”

Ranney said they are looking for possible debate dates in June.

Chairman Jorgensen also spoke to Deseret News and said they tried to organize a debate between the two candidates, but Owens’s campaign didn’t give them a reason for not participating in their debate.

Jorgenson also calls Hunsaker’s strategy of attacking the Republican Party, “bold.”

“Hunsaker can come at the party all he wants, but we have gone above and out of our way to make sure that debates happen, and it’s probably not a good thing to start attacking the party right now,” he said.

Deseret News asked Jorgenson about Ranney’s June debate plan, but he hasn’t heard those plans.

Currently, the 4th Congressional District Republican race is the only Utah federal race without both candidates debating.

In the case of the 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart and challenger Erin Rider will not participate with Utah Debate Commission but will attend the Utah GOP-sponsored debate on Tuesday night on KRNS radio.

While Sen. Mike Lee will skip the commission debate leaving it to the two challengers, Becky Edwards and Ally Isom, to debate on Thursday, Lee will join them in the unannounced GOP’s sponsor debate.

 

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

statue of a woman in front of marble walls...

Lindsay Aerts

Martha Hughes Cannon statue headed to US Capitol

A statue of Martha Hughes Cannon is headed to Washington D.C. to represent Utah

1 hour ago

Eduardo Baca Cuenca, general consul of the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City, discusses voting by...

Tim Vandenack, KSL.com

‘They want to participate’: Mexicans in Utah will be able to take part in Mexico’s presidential vote

As the U.S. presidential campaign heats up, a parallel campaign south of the U.S. border for the Mexican presidency is reaching a crescendo.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden at the US Military Academy commencement ceremony in West Point, New York, on Ma...

Aileen Graef, Athena Jones and Shania Shelton, CNN

Biden touts expansion of NATO and actions in the Middle East during West Point commencement

President Joe Biden touted the expansion of NATO, his actions in the Middle East and progress in lowering military sexual assaults in a commencement address to the West Point graduating class Saturday.

2 days ago

Nathaniel Woodward announced ats UDP's Democratic nominee for Congressional District 2. (Photo: @Ut...

Carlysle Price

Utah Democratic Party announced Nathaniel Woodward as nominee for U.S. Congressional District 2

The Utah Democratic Party announced Nathaniel Woodward as their nominee for U.S. Congressional District 2 after a virtual, ranked choice vote that took place Saturday morning.

2 days ago

FILE - Associate Justice Samuel Alito joins other members of the Supreme Court as they pose for a n...

Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press

Democratic senators request meeting with Chief Justice Roberts over flags flown at Alito’s homes

Two Democratic senators are requesting a meeting with Chief Justice John Roberts after reports that two separate flags carried by rioters at the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol had flown outside of houses owned by Justice Samuel Alito.

3 days ago

FILE - Steam billows from a coal-fired power plant Nov. 18, 2021, in Craig, Colo. The U.S. Securiti...

David A. Lieb, Associated Press

Republican AGs ask Supreme Court to block climate change lawsuits brought by several states

Utah state attorney general joins eighteen other Republican AGs in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to get involved in a dispute over climate-change lawsuits.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Republican challenger calls Rep. Owens a ‘coward’ for avoiding debates