Blake Moore, Rick Jones to debate Monday in US House race
OGDEN — The two hopefuls for the 1st District U.S. House seat meet in their one and only debate on Monday at Weber State University and the public is invited to submit questions and watch.
The debate between one-term incumbent Blake Moore, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Rick Jones is set to start at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Val A. Browning Center on the Weber State campus in Ogden. It’s free, but tickets, available online at bit.ly/3yjJPoo, are required.
It will also be streamed live via the Utah Debate Commission website, utahdebatecommission.org.
“For a republic to work, the people need to know what they are choosing,” said Leah Murray, academic director of Weber State’s Olene S. Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service, which is helping the Utah Debate Commission organize the event. “Debates are the most effective way for voters to learn because they can listen to the candidates themselves give answers on issues of importance.”
Kerry Bringhurst, station manager for Utah Public Radio, will moderate the debate. Questions may be submitted ahead of time online at utahdebatecommission.org/submit-a-question.
The race between Moore, from Salt Lake City, and Jones, from West Haven, could be a lopsided one if history’s any indication. The Republican Party dominates in the 1st District and Republican hopefuls have won by more than 36 percentage points over their Democratic counterparts in each House race since 2010. Moore in 2020 defeated Democrat Darren Parry by a 69.5%-30.4% margin.
At the same time, Moore had $524,391 in cash on hand as of June 30, the end of the last reporting period, compared to none for Jones, according to Federal Election Commission data.
Moore, perhaps a moderate as Utah Republicans go, has put a big focus on reducing the U.S. debt and deficit. He defeated two other challengers in the June Republican Party primary.
Jones, a piano teacher, got in the race in part to make sure the Republican 1st District candidate had a challenger. He previously taught as an adjunct economics professor at Weber State and unsuccessfully ran twice before for a seat in the Utah House. Assuring “fair taxation” among those of varied income levels is a big issue for Jones.
The Utah Debate Commission is holding a debate in the 3rd District U.S. House race on Thursday and will hold debates in the 4th District U.S. House race on Oct. 12 and in the 2nd District U.S. House race on Oct. 14. It’s organizing a debate in the U.S. Senate race between GOP incumbent Mike Lee and independent Evan McMullin on Oct. 17. Details are on the debate commission website.