Editor’s Note: The columns under “Another Look” on this page are part of a series by or about candidates who will be on the June 28 primary election ballot in Sanpete County.
Written by Jake Hunsaker
Hi, Sanpete County. My name is Jake Hunsaker and I’m running for Congress here in our district.
I grew up in a family of 11 children, milking cows and picking corn in a small farming community here in Utah. I’ve spent my career in the private sector and live in Riverton on the northern end of our district.
It’s pretty clear to all of us that our nation is facing a moment of real crisis. Record inflation keeps families struggling to put gas in the truck, food on the table and clothes on their kids’ backs.
Failed Democrat policies are destroying our economy, and leaving voters like you and me powerless. What’s more, we have a representative who spends all his time seeking the prime-time D.C. spotlight instead of working to help our district.
District 4 needs someone who can lead us through this crisis. Someone who will protect the constitution, defend our rights, and work proactively in Washington to find real solutions to the great problems our country is facing. And more than anything, we need someone who will actually SHOW UP– for their job and for Utah.
I’m challenging Burgess Owens because he’s been absent in our district since Day One. He fundraises 80% outside of our state, which explains why he doesn’t feel the need to show up for town hall meetings, sponsor bills for uniquely-Utah issues or even show up to earn your support by debating me. (He is the only federal candidate who has refused all four debate opportunities this primary.)
I’m from Utah, I fundraise in Utah, and I show up for Utah. And unlike my opponent, I actually live inside our district (along with a few of my siblings.) My priorities come from the concerns thousands of voters have shared with me in every town across our district.
My first priority is to cut spending and pass a budget. We need a fiscal hawk in Congress who holds our own party to account as much as the other party. We need someone who will work to reduce a mountain of $30 trillion in debt that is a terrifying and existential crisis for our country, and who will advocate for Utah families who are footing the bill for historic inflation rates.
We also need someone who is keyed into local issues. We are sick of having a toxic Washington political scene dictate what we talk about here on the ground, while we are left voiceless on uniquely-Utah issues that are not getting championed in Washington.
That’s why the federal lands issue is my second priority. It’s not a shiny national topic, but federal lands make up 60% of our state. They impact the way we fight fires on our hillsides, support the hypergrowth of our communities, sustain Utah’s rural energy economy, access critical water resources and even support our multi-billion dollar outdoor recreational industry. Right now this issue is neglected by our representative, and voters here are left without an advocate on interstate water agreements, federal water reserves and critical water infrastructure. I’m running to change that.
My third priority is simple: Once I get to Washington, I want to keep my soul, and I want to help others do the same. I’m committed to making Congress a place where people go for the right reasons and stay for the right reasons. I’ll champion things like single-issue bills, campaign finance reform, limiting congressional stock trading, and implementing term limits to make sure that our representatives remember they work for us, and not the other way around.
It’s time for us to have a local voice who lives in our district, fundraises a majority inside Utah, and talks about uniquely Utah issues even if it means fewer cable news invites and clickbait national headlines. It’s time for us to have a leader in District 4 who cares enough to spend time in our communities and makes Utah voters proud.
To this end, I ask for your support as you vote in the upcoming Republican primary. Together we can get our voice back and make this moment of crisis a moment of positive change.
Jake Hunsaker, who is opposing Burgess Owens for Congress in the Republican primary received his bachelor’s degree in human resource management, from BYU in 2014. He has been a data analyst, project manager or operations manager for Google, Goldman Sachs and Payless Shoe Source. He lives in Riverton in Salt Lake County.