David Liggera

David Liggera of Pleasant View, Democratic hopeful for the 1st District U.S. House seat in 2020 elections.

PLEASANT VIEW — A recent master’s degree recipient who most recently worked as a parcel handler has launched a bid for Utah’s 1st District U.S. House seat.

David Liggera of Pleasant View, a self-described progressive Democrat, is seeking the post in part to be a voice for those who aren’t heard, those, he says, who are frequently sidelined. “That’s essentially what I want to do,” he said, singling out people of color, the poor and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, among others.

Similarly, he lauded the broad range of candidates in the race, welcoming the diversity of those seeking the northern Utah post, now held by Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican who’s not seeking reelection. “I love the idea of more people, more non-traditional individuals ... running for office,” Liggera said.

Liggera joins 13 other candidates, 10 Republicans and now, with him, four Democrats, who say they’re seeking the spot. He received his master’s degree in international relations and regional studies last year from a university in Estonia and his experiences with people from abroad factored in his decision to seek public office for the first time.

Coming from the United States, some people told him, “’you have the freedom to try to make change,’” said Liggera, who grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York, and has lived in numerous places around the country and world. “That really did put the idea in my head.”

Liggera most recently worked as a parcel handler for United Parcel Service, but, for now, will be dedicating himself to the campaign for the northern Utah seat.

Among the big issues, he thinks, are climate change, health care reform, economic stratification and immigration reform.

The indicators of the United State’s relative wealth “emphasize the growing divide not between different partisan groups, but between the wealthiest and the more materially deprived members of the United States, and the impossible and growing burden placed upon our planet,” he said on his website.

He favors the Green New Deal, the initiative meant to tackle climate change put forward by U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and implementation of a single-payer health care system that has a private health care option. He worries the country is becoming economically stratified, with a growing divide between the wealthy and not-so-well-off that gives those with means more political sway.

He favors halting President Donald Trump‘s push to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and an end to the separation of families attempting to cross into the United States. He also decried the immigration process as overly complicated and onerous.

“By making the process needlessly more difficult, we do little more than force prospective immigrants to pursue increasingly dangerous paths to the United States outside of our legal processes and protections,” he said on his campaign website.

Liggera joins Democrats Darren Parry, Joshua Cameron and Jamie Cheek in running. The Republicans seeking the post are Katie Witt, Tina Cannon, Blake Moore, Doug Durbano, Cory Green, Kerry Gibson, Taylor Lee, Bob Stevenson, Mark Shepherd and Howard Wallack.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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