A Town Hall Debate, Candidates for Governor

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Scott Matheson, Jr.In keeping with the setting tonight, I’d like to recall something that maestro Maurice Abravanel, the founder of the Utah Symphony said about our wonderful state. He said that in Utah we can do very important things here if you have the will power. And of course, he did. Like Maestro Abravanel, I think we can do very important things in the state of Utah, and that’s why I’m running for governor.

I’m running for governor because I know the difference between managing a government and leading a state. And that difference is purpose. I believe that our first responsibility is to our children. Our children are the future of our state, and the future of their education is in our hands.

A recent Utah foundation study reported that we’re not supporting education as much as we used to support it. Our teachers, our parents and our children are doing an outstanding job, but we need to do better. And we must do better. We can do better in many critical areas and grow our economy. I think the key to this is education. And so does President George Bush. In fact, in the last presidential debate he said, “Perhaps the best way to keep jobs here in America and to keep this economy growing, is to make sure our educations system works.”

I look forward to working on behalf of the people of Utah. And I look forward to our discussion of the issues this evening. Thank you.

Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Let me tell you why I’m running for governor. I’ve been in this race now for a little over a year, and I said it in my very first town meeting, in the home of the Winder family in West Valley City. That I’m in this race because I believe that on our current economic trajectory that we are going to be unable to deliver on the goals and aspirations and the hopes, dreams and desires of the next generation Utahns. And I think a state whose very motto is industry, a state who has industry written right in the center of its flag, can do it better.

It’s about jobs, it’s about higher paying jobs, and it’s about more of those jobs that are commensurate with the level of education that many of our students have.

Now, I believe when it comes right down to it there will be three critical priorities. One will be our children, which is education. We need to deliver a world class education today, more so than ever before. Number two will be water, without which we cannot survive. Number three will be roads. Without mobility we have no ability to grow our economic base.

I come to you with a private sector background. I come to you as well with senior level government experience. I think both will be required in the next governor.

Thank you.

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