WEST JORDAN Three candidates for the 3rd Congressional District fielded questions Saturday afternoon at the Utah Eagle Forum annual convention in West Jordan about the role of government, the war in Iraq and protecting the border.
The candidates in attendance Jason Chaffetz, Joe H. Ferguson and David Leavitt are conservatives and expressed similar views on the issues, but each had a strikingly different campaign approach.
Chaffetz criticized Rep. Chris Cannon, who didn't attend the conference, for voting for "No Child Left Behind" and for what Chaffetz called Cannon's "lack of accountability."
"As Republicans, we had the House, the Senate and the presidency and we blew it," Chaffetz said. "If we want different results, we need to elect different people."
Chaffetz's platform is to give state government control of education, demand accountability, limit government and support a strong national defense.
Ferguson focused extensively on what some call the North American Union, which they believe is a plan by government leaders to unite the United States, Mexico and Canada into one country.
"There is not a country like America, but if the North American Union goes through, then America will cease to be America," Ferguson said. "I am for the Constitution of the United States and for America. I am against the North American Union."
Ferguson's campaign aims at turning back to the Constitution to preserve the nation.
Leavitt shared experiences he said taught him integrity and "how to make tough choices ... and how to do hard things."
As the Juab County attorney, Leavitt filed charges against polygamist Tom Green in the face of opposition from government leaders and family.
"I filed the case, I won the case and I lost my job over it." Leavitt said.
Central to Leavitt's campaign are three keys to freedom: depending less on government intervention, protecting the family and bringing belief in God back to the public sphere.
The panel helped those in attendance become more familiar with the candidates and their views on issues.
"I think (the candidates) are actually all pretty well aligned in their principles, but they all have very different levels of experience," said John Fox, who drove from Orem to attend the conference.