Editor’s Note: This is part of a 12-episode series of Candidate Conversations with the Voices of Reason Podcast in which hosts Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee talk with Utah candidates running for federal office. The podcasts offer unique depth into the candidates’ priorities, backgrounds and reasons for running to represent the citizens of Utah. This is an effort to help voters learn more about those running for office and their positions on critical local and national issues.
SALT LAKE CITY — Logan native Eric Eliason, 46, didn’t think he would ever run for political office, mostly because he didn’t feel like he fell into any of the traditional political party categories.
“I couldn’t see myself as a Republican or a Democrat, and if you can’t see yourself as a Republican or a Democrat, then you can’t really see yourself running for office one day, because you need to be one or the other,” he told Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee on the Voices of Reason podcast.
When the United Utah Party formed in 2017, the Cache County businessman thought it might be an opportunity to make an initial foray into the political realm. He is seeking to challenge Rep. Rob Bishop, R-UT, for his 1st District congressional seat.
A candidate is born
“I was in a position I had control of my time and some initial resources, and after complaining so much in 2016 about our choices, I thought if I’m going to keep complaining I better do something about it,” he said.
“With United Utah, I could be a centrist and jump into the race and not change my politics, which I wasn’t willing to do,“ he added.
He said becoming involved with a third party that more aligned with his beliefs was a much more suitable alternative that provides a platform that could challenge the political status quo.
Eliason’s number one priority
During the Candidate Conversation, Eliason said his number one policy priority was government reform.
“That came from following the money and saying, ‘How can this work?’” he explained. He supports term limits in the House and Senate in Washington D.C. and restructuring campaign finance regulations.
“(In Congress) you’re raising money at the same time you’re voting on a bill — that’s wrong,” he said. “This money thing is messing with our complete system. It cannot work.”
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