Burgess Owens’ opponents react to him not attending debate

Oct 12, 2022, 5:45 PM | Updated: 7:00 pm
Candidates for Utah's Fourth Congressional District. January Walker (left), Darlene McDonald (right...
Candidates for Utah's Fourth Congressional District. January Walker (left), Darlene McDonald (right). (Photos, left to right: , U.S. House of Representatives, Utah Democrats JanuaryforUtah.com)
(Photos, left to right: , U.S. House of Representatives, Utah Democrats JanuaryforUtah.com)

SALT LAKE CITY — Hours after Congress Burgess Owens announced he wouldn’t participate in tonight’s Fourth Congressional District Debate, his opponents are questioning his motives.

Democratic challenger, Darlene McDonald, said she’s dismayed at Owens’ explanation for not coming tonight.

“We’d known at least for several weeks who the moderators were. And if he had objections to the moderator, I don’t know if he voiced them at that time. But he could have also come out a lot earlier to say that he was not going to participate in the debate and also state why,” McDonald told KSL NewsRadio’s Lindsay Aerts. “The fact that he did this on the day of the debate is suspect to me.”

McDonald also told Aerts that she did not think Pat Bagely’s cartoon of Owens was racist, and that Owens should consider using different language in concern to migrants at the southern border.

Owens invited McDonald to join him during town hall meetings on Oct. 22, and Oct. 29. McDonald says she hasn’t heard from him.

“He has never reached out to me, that’s the first I have heard of him wanting to debate me it’s the first time I’ve ever even heard him say my name to be honest,” McDonald said about Owens.

Owens’ independent opponent, January Walker of the United Utah Party, told KSL NewsRadio that she suspects Owens’ cognitive abilities are declining and said “his handlers are keeping him in a controlled environment.”

Walker said in a text message statement that a “candidate unwilling to show up to a debate because of a mean cartoon” is not “going to show up for you in Washington when things get tough.”

Walker did not receive the same invitation to debate Owens that McDonald did.

“A Democrat in Utah is not a threat to a Republican incumbent after this year’s gerrymandering but a Moderate with common-ground solutions could overtake the GOP party hold on the state. Owens’s campaign strategy is to not give a voice to the moderate majority of Utah,” Walker said in a text message.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Pat Reavy

House cleaning argument ends with man running over wife, police say

A Utah County man was charged Monday with running over his wife while their children were in the car after the couple had been arguing over keeping the house clean, police say.
21 hours ago
Outside of the Cache County School District building. (KSL-TV)...
Madison Swenson

Box Elder, Cache County, Logan school districts on two-hour delay Tuesday

Schools in the Cache County School District will start two hours later than normal on Tuesday, Jan. 31, due to a wind chill warning in the area.
21 hours ago
(Iron County Search and Rescue/Facebook)...
Madison Swenson

Iron County authorities seeking information to help find missing man

Iron County Search and Rescue is asking for the public's help in identifying the location featured in a video that they say could lead to a missing man's whereabouts.
21 hours ago
Participants in the Discover Winter program getting ready to hit the slopes. (KSL-TV's Mark Less)...
Shelby Lofton

Utah ski industry works to bring diversity to the slopes through ‘Discover Winter’ program

A Utah ski and snowboarding group wants to bring more diversity to the sports by giving minority communities a chance to hit the slopes.
21 hours ago
An example of letting your faucet drip to prevent freezing. (KSL-TV)...
Jed Boal

Plumbers warn of frozen pipes after cold front

When it gets this cold and stays cold, some water pipes in some homes in Utah are susceptible to freezing, leading to a costly fix for Utahns.
21 hours ago
snow covered bowl in Utah mountains...
Larry D. Curtis

Utah’s Peter Sinks reaches -62 Monday; Why does it get so cold?

LOGAN, Utah — Why so cold Utah? It was cold all over the Beehive State Monday, but Peter Sinks recorded a jaw-dropping -62. The second coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states was in Utah, in the same place, a notorious cold spot 2o miles northeast of Logan. In 1985 Peter Sinks recorded […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Burgess Owens’ opponents react to him not attending debate