Newcomer Wonnacott faces off against incumbent Chaffetz in 3rd District debate

Posted at 10:23 PM, Oct 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-08 09:40:00-04

OREM, Utah -- A well-polished politician faced off against a candidate unknown to Utah's political playground. Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz debated his Democratic challenger Brian Wonnacott at Utah Valley University in Orem Tuesday night.

The candidate seemed to agree on some things but it wasn't what they talked about that stood out.

Wonnacott faltered when answering questions and later admitted it wasn't his best performance.

"I felt like I struggled. I had prepared my topics and I got asked more but I enjoyed the debate. I enjoyed hearing the questions from the students. I actually enjoyed hearing Jason's answers; he's a smooth and polished politician. I found myself wanting to see more about several topics," Wonnacott said.

For a long time, Rep. Chaffetz didn't have an opponent. Wonnacott had never dipped his toes into the political water until now.

Some of the topics discussed were relations between the U.S. and China, corporate tax reform and gun rights.

"Parents have a right to know what's going on in schools but we got some teachers that have a hard time negotiating a Bunsen burner so I don't know if firearms are necessarily the answer, so we have to find the right balance. I think for some teachers, and some schools it's the right approach," Chaffetz said.

"I think the parents have the right to know everything that goes on in their schools. I think teachers maybe have the right to carry guns. It's legal in Utah and until that changes they have that right," Wonnacott said.

The next debate will take place next Oct. 14. The candidates for Utah's 4th congressional district, Mia Love and Doug Owens will debate at the University of Utah.