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'Forgotten' 2nd District race has no incumbent

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SALT LAKE CITY — It's the political contest many Utahns probably haven't even heard about — the new 2nd Congressional District — and it is a race without an incumbent.

Lawmakers recently drew new congressional boundaries, something that happens every 10 years, for four seats rather than three. The result: a brand new 2nd district, and unlike the other districts, this one will a elect a newcomer to Congress.

The candidates, may disagree on some issues, but they agree on one thing: "It is forgotten in the sense that it's an open seat," said Republican candidate Chris Stewart.

"There's no doubt that the Matheson Love race seems to sucking the air out of everything right now," Democratic candidate Jay Seegmiller added.

Democrat Jim Matheson used to represent the 2nd district, but after redistricting decided to run in the 4th, and is now locked in tough fight with Mia Love.

Stewart and Seegmiller are running in a district that takes in northern Salt Lake and southern Davis and Tooele counties and down to St. George and much of southern Utah.

Seegmiller, a longtime Amtrak conductor, is a former state lawmaker who knocked off powerful House Speaker Greg Curtis.

His big priority: jobs. He calls for a change in tax policy to give corporations incentives to invest in the U-S rather than overseas.

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"Lower the tax rate for them to bring it back, and then if they use that to create jobs, then they would get a tax credit which would add incentive to create jobs," he said.

For Republican Chris Stewart, the No. 1 thing is reigning in spending.

"You have to control government debt, you have to give people a sense of hope in their future that we're not going to drive off this fiscal cliff," he said.

Stewart is an author, a former Air Force pilot, energy consultant and first-time candidate.

"I just sat and watched what was happening and I realized I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to get in the fight," he said.

Both men say their backgrounds shape their prescriptions for the nation's ills, and give them an edge.

"I'm a conservative Republican," Stewart said. "This is an important election."

Seegmiller said "moderate candidates win in Utah. The voters in Utah will vote for who they think best represent them."


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John Daley


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