By Tim Vandenack – Standard Examiner – Nov 14, 2023
OGDEN — U.S. Senate hopeful Brad Wilson brought his message to Ogden on Monday, warning of “radical big government policies” coming out of Washington, D.C., and saying he’s the candidate to help fight them.
Reducing the size of government and lowering taxes — traditional GOP focuses — would be priorities.
The Republican lawmaker, a state representative from Kaysville and speaker of the Utah House until Wednesday, took aim at President Joe Biden, a Democrat. On the flip side, he touted change implemented by the GOP-led Utah Legislature during his tenure.
The United States is threatened by “radical big-government policies” coming from the nation’s capitol “that are trying to take away our freedoms, that are eroding, in many cases, the values that our country was founded on,” Wilson said.
Combating the change at the federal level will require sending “conservative fighters” to Washington, D.C., he went on. “We’re going to go back and make sure that we win this fight to get America back to where we want it to be,” he said.
Weber County Republican Women invited Wilson to speak and he received a supportive response from those on hand. The lawmaker, in his seventh term in the Utah House, formally announced his plans last September to run in 2024 elections for the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney. He steps down from his Utah House post effective Wednesday.
Wilson is one of at least seven GOP hopefuls for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Romney, who’s not running again, and perhaps the highest-profile candidate in the contingent. The other Republicans are Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, Gabriel Lobo-Blanco, Ty Jensen, Joshua Randall and Carolyn Phippen, while no Democrats have thus far filed plans to run, according to the U.S. Federal Election Commission website.
Biden was a particular target of Wilson, who criticized what he said has been “reckless spending” by the U.S. government under the Democratic leader and what he said were moves under Biden to cut domestic energy production. “This is not the right policy for our country,” he said.
He painted a dire picture — “You should know this: There is a lot on the line” — contrasting things at the federal level with what he says has happened in Utah during his time as a state lawmaker. “My record on restraining spending and also cutting taxes cannot be matched by anyone that is going to jump into this Senate race. As the speaker, we have cut income taxes not once, not twice, but three times,” he said.
Indeed, taxes and the U.S. debt would be big focuses for Wilson. “We’ve got to send someone back to Washington, D.C., to get Washington, D.C., to look a whole lot more like Utah and get our fiscal house in order and get government smaller and taxes lower,” he said.
Reining in U.S. spending, though, can’t be done with one measure or bill. “It’s going to take a little bit of time,” he said.
On illegal immigration to the United States, he said the first course of action should be securing the U.S.-Mexico border, though he didn’t offer specifics on how to do that.
Next, he went on, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have to come together to craft a new policy to allow immigrants to enter the country legally, a tall order so far. “We are a country of immigrants. I think that’s a good thing. But it has to be done in an orderly way,” he said.