BENNETT CLEARS DEBATE THRESHOLD
New poll puts him at 6 percent; he is Utah’s first non-establishment candidate to make the mark
SANDY, UT, Sept. 22, 2017 — For the first time in history, a non-Republican, non-Democrat candidate will share the stage at the Utah Debate Commission’s main event. Jim Bennett of the United Utah Party will square off against Republican John Curtis and Democrat Kathie Allen on October 18th at KBYU Studios in Provo.
This historic feat provides a significant boost to Bennett’s campaign to replace Jim Chaffetz’s vacated seat in Utah’s Third Congressional District.
“We are delighted our candidate crossed the threshold when the party is so new. Jim will give the party a forum for articulating our views to Utah voters,” said United Utah Party Chairman Richard Davis.
An original poll conducted by the Utah Debate Commission showed Bennett polling less than half a percent under the threshold for participation in the debate. That poll was found to be methodologically flawed, and the new poll puts him at 6 percent, which, combined with a 4 percent margin of error, reaches the 10 percent threshold established by the commission for participation.
“This is a tremendous opportunity, and I’d like to thank the debate commission for their integrity throughout this process,” Bennett said. “One of the main reasons I’m running is to introduce this party and its principles to the people of Utah, and this debate provides the perfect forum to do that.”
Tim Fullmer, who manages the Bennett campaign, agreed. “The biggest obstacle we face is that people simply haven’t had enough time to get to know Jim and what he stands for,” Fullmer said. “The state’s efforts to keep us off the ballot gave us a very late start, but this debate is a great chance for us to catch up.”
Bennett wasn’t officially a candidate until August 3rd, when U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer determined that the state elections office violated Bennett’s 1st and 14th Amendment rights by denying his attempt to file as a candidate.
Bennett acknowledged the uphill battle he faces, but he was optimistic. “They said I wouldn’t be on the ballot, and they said I couldn’t make it into the debate. I’ve proven the conventional wisdom wrong twice. Third time’s the charm.”
The debate takes place at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast on most television stations in Utah.