James Hansen: Libertarian candidate offers alternative to Lee and McMullin

McMullins is a D.C. man through and through and won’t do what Utah voters need.

This past weekend, independent Evan McMullin successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of the Utah Democratic Party. Masquerading as a healthy alternative to U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a slight majority of Utah Democratic Convention delegates opted not to advance their candidate, Kael Weston, to shoehorn Democrats across the state into supporting McMullin’s “Not Mike Lee” campaign.

In an opinion piece to The Salt Lake Tribune, Weston writes a clear and scathing criticism of McMullin’s key message, “Campaigning against someone … is not enough. This election year we should insist that candidates address the issues that matter to Utah families. Voters deserve to hear what candidates are for and how they intend to help improve our lives and futures.”

Evan McMullin is a D.C. man through and through. Statements from his 2016 campaign are indicative of a candidate who would support expanding the defense budget, more conflicts and interventions abroad, tougher civilian-killing sanctions on uncooperative nations, anti-LGBTQ and marriage equality, expansion of federal powers to surveil and apprehend U.S. citizens and follow GOP party leadership in partisan voting.

With a resume that includes CIA operative, Wall Street banker and GOP analyst and consultant, we can easily predict McMullin’s political career style and focus. Federal power and special interests. Evan McMullin is the poster child of Wall Street and the Pentagon, precisely the kind of person Utahns should not elect.

I am offering a stark contrast to Evan McMullin’s and Mike Lee’s campaigns for Utahns to choose from this Fall. As a father of four, working as a high school physics teacher and coach, I have an authentic and grounded connection to the issues facing our students, families and communities. I am striving to bring a focus to tax burdens on lower and middle-class families of our state, the ballooning defense budget and the fallout of decades of warfare, removing barriers to quality primary care to improve health outcomes, protecting our environment and managing our precious water resources, defending the rights of LGBTQ Utahns to have fair and equal treatment under the law, eliminating subsidies/bailouts for oil and gas and all special interests, criminal justice reform and greater accountability in our law enforcement agencies and connecting federal education dollars to the student and their outcomes, not institutions.

Pressing issues need fixing in our great nation, and there is no time to squander on partisan politics and fearmongering. I promise to go to Washington with a deep focus on these issues and work with like-minded members of Congress to accomplish them, party affiliation be damned!

I invite you to visit my campaign website at JimmyForUtah.com and read more about the key issues facing Utahns and how I propose to solve them.

James Hansen is the Utah Libertarian Party nominee for U.S Senate. He resides in Heber City and teaches physics and geology at Wasatch High.