A Constitutional Conservative

As a staunch Constitutional Conservative, I hold a deep belief in the divine inspiration behind our founding documents. I stand firm in the conviction that the primary role of government is to safeguard our lives, liberty, and property, ensuring that government remains servant rather than a master of the people.

Pro-Individual Rights and Small Government: My commitment leans heavily towards empowering individuals over expanding government reach, believing, as Jefferson did, that governance closest to the people best serves their interests.

Advocate for Federalism and States’ Rights: I champion the principles of federalism and states’ rights, advocating for a balanced distribution of power that respects local autonomy.

Fiscal Responsibility: A fiscal conservative at heart, I advocate for the reduction and simplification of taxes, supporting policies that enhance economic freedom and individual prosperity.

Pro-Life and Second Amendment Supporter: My beliefs extend to protecting life at all stages and upholding the right to bear arms as enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Legal Immigration: I support a robust and fair legal immigration system and stand against policies that would normalize or incentivize illegal immigration.

Upholding Republican Values: My principles are aligned with the Utah Republican Party’s platform, reflecting a commitment to conservative values and policies that foster freedom, responsibility, and opportunity.

Below are the issues I am deeply passionate about, reflecting my commitment to these principles in action.

Responsible Growth and Affordable Housing

Utah is experiencing unprecedented growth. Salt Lake County has welcomed approximately 8,000 new residents each year for the past two decades. This surge has highlighted the importance of the 32,000 undeveloped acres west of Bangerter Highway as the county’s last significant area available for development. The decisions we make today regarding this land’s use will profoundly impact our community’s future vitality and quality of life. It is critical that those who live in this area, and will bear the consequences of these decisions, are the ones to make them.

With this growth, soaring inflation, and high interest rates, the cost of living in Utah has also escalated. The dream of homeownership, raising a family, or enjoying a comfortable retirement in our state is slipping away for many. In addressing these challenges, we must ensure that government actions facilitate rather than hinder solutions, avoiding regulatory or procedural barriers that could exacerbate the housing affordability crisis. By focusing on policies that positively influence job growth and remove unnecessary regulations that increase housing construction costs, we can ensure that Utah remains a place where people of all ages and stages of life can afford to build their futures.

Ensuring that every Utahn has access to affordable housing is not just about maintaining economic growth; it’s about preserving the essence of our community and ensuring that the American dream is attainable for all who seek it.

Economic Prosperity and Fiscal Responsibility

Utah’s economy stands as a beacon of success, fueled by a commitment to limited government and fiscal responsibility. Our state’s leadership in job growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship has earned us the title of America’s Best Managed State. Yet, despite these accolades, Utah families face the challenge of historic inflation, driven by broader federal policies that have tightened the financial strain on everyday living.

At the heart of my economic philosophy is the conviction that the engine of our economy is powered by the initiative and ingenuity of individuals and businesses, not by the heavy hand of government. Our policies should safeguard property rights, enforce laws that open up opportunities, and invest in infrastructure that businesses rely on, all while ensuring the government remains a facilitator, not a barrier, to economic growth.

The key to Utah’s continued prosperity lies in reducing government interference and focusing on solutions that spur small business innovation and growth. I stand committed to protecting Utah from burdensome federal regulations and advocating for state-led solutions that address our unique challenges.

I am proud to have contributed to recent legislative efforts that have successfully cut taxes by over $1.5 billion. Looking forward, I am dedicated to further reducing the tax burden on Utahns. This includes ambitious proposals to remove the sales tax on food, eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits, and ensure property taxes remain manageable. These measures are pivotal in lessening the financial pressures on our families and cementing Utah’s status as an attractive destination for business and innovation.

Our mission to streamline government efficiency will not only reduce taxes but also enhance Utah’s appeal as a place to work and live. Together, we can keep Utah’s economic engine roaring, guided by the principles of freedom, innovation, and thoughtful governance.

Championing Quality Education for Utah

Rooted in a family tradition of teaching, my dedication to enhancing Utah’s education system is deeply personal. At the heart of our educational mission must be a return to the fundamentals: reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s essential that our public schools remain bastions of learning, not platforms for any form of indoctrination to particular political or social beliefs. Classrooms should be environments of politically neutral ground where the focus is on equipping students with the critical thinking and foundational skills they need to succeed.

A pivotal aspect of my educational philosophy is recognizing parents’ primary role in their children’s education. Parents must have the freedom and resources to guide their children’s learning paths, ensuring that education aligns with family values and expectations. This principle underpins my support for a diverse educational landscape, including traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling, providing families with choices that best suit their children’s unique needs and learning styles.

As a parent of three and having spent much time in our schools, I am intimately aware of the challenges and opportunities within our educational system. I am committed to empowering parents and teachers by streamlining educational funding directly to classrooms, reducing bureaucratic overhead, and ensuring local administrators can tailor resources to meet students’ specific needs.

Our educators, the backbone of our educational system, often bear the brunt of ever-expanding demands, leading to unmanageable workloads and diminished focus on teaching. I am so grateful for their dedication and am committed to alleviating these pressures. By removing unnecessary burdens and ensuring parents stay informed and involved, we can allow teachers to concentrate on what they do best: teaching.

Furthermore, special needs education requires our attention and reform. This large and growing, mostly invisible group of citizens are subject to antiquated regulations and process, have few resources available to them, and wade through an incredible amount of red tape to obtain state and federal benefits. Those with special needs have the potential, with some help, to become a much more meaningful part of society, contributing in ways unique to their abilities and abilities and talents.

Education in Utah must continue to innovate and adapt, focusing on outcomes and empowering students through a pathway to employment. By fostering an environment that returns to educational fundamentals, honors parental involvement, supports our teachers, and prepares students for future success, we can ensure our children inherit a robust, welcoming, and effective educational system.

Advancing Utah’s Transportation Infrastructure

The rapid growth of our community has outpaced our current transportation infrastructure, leaving over 80% of our residents commuting out of the area for work daily, with a significant portion facing northward journeys. The resulting congestion highlights a pressing need for comprehensive planning that bridges the west and east sides of the valley and accelerates north-south connectivity projects to streamline access from the southwest of Salt Lake County to the freeways.

My commitment to enhancing our transportation infrastructure is unwavering. I worked hard to obtain the funding to transform Bangerter Highway into a freeway and am working diligently to secure funding to complete Mountain View Corridor into a freeway. These projects are essential in easing the congestion on east-west roads, facilitating smoother commutes to I-15, and ensuring the west side’s integration with the valley’s heart.

However, our vision for a well-connected community extends beyond road improvements. Rethinking public transit is crucial. The current TRAX lines serving our area fall short in speed, convenience, and safety, deterring regular use. My goal is to champion public transportation solutions that are not only efficient but also exceed the convenience of driving, making it an attractive option for our community. This includes ambitious plans to extend the Red TRAX line to connect with the Frontrunner on the south end of the valley.

By focusing on these strategic developments, we can foster a transportation ecosystem that supports our growing community’s needs, reduces daily congestion, and lays the groundwork for sustainable growth and mobility. Together, we can build an infrastructure that not only meets today’s demands but also anticipates the needs of tomorrow’s Utah.

Defending First Amendment Freedoms

In an era where our First Amendment rights face unprecedented challenges, the battle to protect freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion has never been more critical. Powerful forces aim to restrict these fundamental liberties, affecting individuals’ ability to express their convictions and live according to their deeply held beliefs. As a staunch advocate for these inalienable rights, I am dedicated to ensuring every individual has the freedom to voice their opinions and practice their religion without fear of government infringement.

I am particularly proud of legislation that I sponsored that has passed into law that fortifies these freedoms. Notably, I spearheaded a bill to bolster freedom of speech on college campuses, increasing free expression and dialogue in classrooms. Additionally, I championed legislation that guarantees students the right to counsel and due process, safeguarding their educational and civil liberties. Furthermore, recently as the House sponsor of the Utah Religious Freedom Restoration Act has positioned Utah as offering the most secure religious freedom protections in the nation.

Regrettably, some legislative efforts have overlooked the paramount importance of these freedoms, opting instead to prioritize other objectives that dilute our constitutional guarantees. I take pride in my record of enhancing free speech, particularly in educational settings, where the exchange of ideas should be encouraged, not stifed. My commitment remains firm: to protect and promote these freedoms vigorously, recognizing their indispensable role in a free and vibrant society.

My background in law and my involvement with organizations such as the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Leavitt Institute for International Development equip me with a unique blend of knowledge and passion for these issues. This experience has not only deepened my understanding but also strengthened my resolve to be a frontline defender of our First Amendment rights.

The defense of these freedoms is not a passive endeavor. I pledge to actively counter any attempts to erode our constitutional rights, ensuring that our society remains one where freedom of expression and religious liberty are unassailable pillars. Together, we can stand against the encroachment on our liberties and uphold the foundational principles that define and dignify our nation.

Protecting Utah’s Resources

As Utah continues to grow, my commitment is to defend and steward the state’s natural resources so that future generations can thrive. This involves not only continuing our history of thoughtful stewardship but also addressing new challenges with innovative solutions.

Water: The Lifeline of Utah

Despite last year’s historic snowfall providing a much-needed boost to our reservoirs and aquifers, Utah is still grappling with the aftermath of decades of extreme drought. The necessity for infrastructure repairs, replacements, and new supply projects is critical to secure our water resources for the present and future. While we’ve successfully begun changing the narrative around water usage in Utah—seeing a reduction in personal water use thanks to new conservation habits—our efforts must persist. We aim to further cultivate a conservation culture through incentives, education, and outreach. However, projections indicate that by 2055, demand will surpass supply. In response, we are exploring additional policies to augment our water supply and meet the escalating demand.

Energy: A Balanced Approach

Utah’s energy strategy adopts an all-encompassing approach, integrating traditional, renewable, and emerging energy sources. However, stringent federal regulations, particularly those pushing for increased reliance on electric vehicles and appliances, pose a risk to power cost and grid stability. It’s essential that Utah’s energy policies are shaped by and for Utah, addressing our unique needs. Efforts will also focus on enhancing grid capacity and reliability, including the consideration of nuclear power as a safer, low-impact option.

Lands: Sustainable Management and Conservation

Over the past three years, collaboration with local and federal partners has improved land management and conservation efforts in Utah, reducing forest management costs, mitigating wildfire risks, and enhancing forest health. Continuing these investments through cooperative forest management and ensuring that decisions regarding state trust lands benefit Utah’s students and future are priorities.

Stewardship: Balancing Conservation and Development

Being good stewards of our land means not only cherishing our natural wonders but also embracing technological advancements and innovation, including in fossil fuel development, as part of environmental solutions. My vision as a conservative legislator is to safeguard our natural resources for the enjoyment and prosperity of future generations while supporting responsible development. I firmly believe in the compatibility of a strong economy and a healthy environment and am dedicated to pursuing solutions that fulfill both objectives.

Breathing Better: Utah’s Path to Cleaner Air

Utah’s remarkable population growth over the last two decades, coupled with its unique geographical features, has presented significant challenges to maintaining our air quality. The inversions experienced in the Salt Lake Valley during winter months encapsulate emissions, adversely affecting the health of our community—particularly children and the elderly—and posing risks to our economic vitality by impacting workforce productivity and deterring businesses.

Addressing the imperative to improve air quality, my approach focuses on leveraging cost-effective, innovative solutions that respect both the environment and economic development. Recognizing the delicate balance between regulation and growth, I am committed to advancing strategies that minimize government intrusion while avoiding regulations that could stifle business innovation and expansion.

Embracing conservative principles, creative thinking, and the power of the free market, I believe we can surmount this challenge. By encouraging responsible environmental stewardship and investing in technologies and practices that reduce emissions without compromising Utah’s economic competitiveness, we can ensure a future where growth and environmental health go hand in hand. Ensuring the well-being of our residents and the attractiveness of Utah as a place to live and work requires a committed, thoughtful approach to managing our air quality—a commitment I pledge to uphold.

Securing Our Borders: States Must Stand Up for Effective Immigration Control

Our current immigration system is outdated, dysfunctional, and falls short of serving the American people effectively. Our border crisis has been further exacerbated by recent policy decisions by the Biden administration’s expansion of the asylum process which has effectively created open borders.

This uncontrolled situation not only undermines national security but also complicates the legal immigration process, which should be both safe and beneficial for immigrants and American citizens alike. It is essential that we advocate for a reformed immigration system that respects and welcomes those who contribute positively to our society while firmly excluding those who pose threats to our safety and legal framework.

Unfortunately, the necessary overhaul seems out of reach with the current Congressional gridlock. Despite immigration being predominantly a federal issue, the repercussions are felt deeply at the state level. Utah is facing significant challenges as a result of this crisis: lethal drugs like fentanyl infiltrate our communities, and unchecked entries raise security concerns.

In response to the federal government’s inaction, I support proactive measures by states like Texas, Florida, and others at the forefront of this crisis. I endorse the deployment of Utah’s National Guard to assist in securing the border. Additionally, I stand against the designation of Utah or any of its cities as sanctuary havens, upholding our commitment to law and order.

It’s time for states to assert their role in safeguarding their residents when federal solutions falter. By supporting robust border security and advocating for a streamlined, effective immigration system, we can protect our communities and ensure that our immigration policies reflect both our values and our needs..