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At the end of the debate, Cooke raised his voice and jabbed at the podium, rejecting Herbert’s suggestion that Cooke would grow the size of government.
"I’m a small businessperson. I’ve fought for this country," Cooke insisted. "I’m not in any way trying to bring more government in. Please don’t use the same labels and try to split [people]."
Moroni Mayor Todd Pay said the land management issue is important to his community, which saw fires in the nearby La Sal Mountains this summer and still has stands of dead trees, killed by bark beetles.
"The one area that is critical is our lands and the federal government, and needing to gain control of that for our state," said Pay. He is supporting Herbert but felt like both candidates understand the need for more local control.
Joe Johnson, the mayor of Bountiful, said he thought both candidates did a good job, but "I think the governor was a little bit more in tune with what the issues were with the cities."
The two candidates will meet for two more debates before the November election. Their next debate will be Oct. 4 at the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.
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