3rd Congressional District campaign interesting but not close

Published: Monday, Oct. 25 2010 10:31 p.m. MDT

Chaffetz and Hyer agree the top issues on the national agenda are the top issues to constituents in the 3rd Congressional District. They say repairing the country's economy is their top concern. Both have plenty to say about immigration issues and health care reform.

"The 3rd Congressional District is the youngest district in the nation. The economy is so critical. The federal government continues to get in the way and make more difficult, not better," Chaffetz said. "The issues with the 3rd District parallel national issues: the national debt, immigration and the sheer size and growth of government."

Hyer has a similar observation of the overlap in national and local issues. "Our middle class here — a lot of these folks are out of work," she said. "So one of the things I would want to concentrate on is getting more industries here and growing them right here."

Immigration is another national issue that is of great interest in Utah. "To say that all we need to do is enforce our current (immigration) laws is disingenuous," Hyer said. "And it's harsh, irresponsible rhetoric to suggest we round up illegal immigrants and detain them in concentration camp-like tent cities surrounded by barbed wire." She supports the development of a "smart, workable temporary work permit system" that does not expand government welfare. She also supports a pathway to legal status for immigrants that does not equate to amnesty.

Chaffetz also rejects amnesty proposals and wants to see a border lock down and visa enforcement. He wants to get rid of rewards and incentives to be in the country illegally and insists on assimilation. "Our first priority should be to legal citizens, and then we should prioritize those who want to come here legally," Chaffetz says in his KSL candidate questionnaire response. "Our current system is failing by giving those with closest proximity and a willingness to break our laws favor over those who are willing to enter the country legally."

Regarding health-care reform, Chaffetz says he opposes the Affordable Care Act. "We should take a market-based approach to fixing the country's health care problems. I favor solutions such as insurance portability, free-market competition and transparency. I will work to repeal Obama Care."

Hyer said she also opposes the Affordable Care Act, believing the act does not solve the ever-escalating costs of health care. "This needs to be done in an innovative manner, not by imposing mandates, growing government-sponsored health care, and increasing taxes or premiums." She supports insurance portability and Medicare and Medicaid reform to reduce waste, fraud and abuse. "We need real litigation reform, and we need to provide greater incentives for first-line health care clinics and hospitals to service those with low income or no income."

Jason Chaffetz

Age: 43

Education: Brigham Young University, bachelor's in communications

Professional experience: Corporate marketing and communications; former campaign manager and chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.

Political background: Republican, former Democrat; incumbent 3rd District representative

Family: Married, three children

Campaign website: www.jasonforcongress.com

Deseret News candidate questionnaire responses: deseretnews.com/election/candidate/2/496/Jason-Chaffetz.html

Karen Hyer

Age: 68

Education: Stanford University, doctorate in educational psychology; Lewis & Clark College, law degree

Professional experience: University professor, former medical researcher and rancher

Political background: Republican running on the Democratic ticket

Family: Married, three children; also a grandmother and great-grandmother

Campaign website: hyerforcongress.com

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