Why am I supporting Tanner Ainge for Congress when many in Provo know that I have worked closely with John Curtis for the past 3½ years? I am asked that question a lot. I am happy to answer it.
Tanner will best represent our state's conservative values. It is one thing to say you're a conservative. It's another thing to be a conservative. He believes in keeping government small and letting businesses flourish. Tanner knows that in a strong economy, everybody benefits. He will take what is working well in Utah, a strong conservative state, and apply it on a national level. He shares our concerns that the current fiscal path of our nation is unsustainable. His plans would give the power back to the states to apply the brakes to the fiscal freight train. I believe this is a big step in the right direction.
As Ainge said in a recent media interview:
"I've spent the last decade in the business world, helping to evaluate and grow companies of all shapes and sizes — from billion-dollar enterprises to small local businesses. ...And it's frustrating watching the federal government and all of our dysfunction, especially our fiscal dysfunction. It's something I've complained about and I've cared about for a long time, but when Congressman Chaffetz stepped down so unexpectedly, I realized this is time for me to get off the sidelines and actually put my experience to work and try to make a difference in Washington, D.C." Tanner is not a career politician. He is eager to get in and make a difference, get things moving in the right direction and then let someone else carry on. He is not a guy who will let thoughts of re-election guide his actions. I have seen what this does to elected officials and how it can skew their decision-making. Tanner is not a flashy, tell-you-what-you-want-to-hear kind of person. He will give it to you straight. I find that refreshing. He has the right approach and demeanor to be an effective advocate for Utah.
Tanner has integrity. He is honest, hard-working and smart. He served a mission in Africa and learned the Twi language. He realized that the opportunities to use this language would not be too broad. After he and his wife, Heidi, graduated from BYU, they both enrolled in Cornell University's Chinese immersion program and learned to speak Mandarin Chinese. They spent time in Asia and then returned to Northwestern University where Tanner earned a law degree. He is currently working to grow businesses, both big and small. I appreciate that he has the business eye and the legal eye when it comes to understanding, drafting and making necessary adjustments to our nation's laws. Tanner Ainge has the skill set to do this job and do it well. He has substance.
In this election, I will be voting for substance, not socks.
Kimberly Santiago lives in Provo.