In an election season that some have viewed to be more contentious than the 2016 presidential election, a gubernatorial race in Utah is shifting the narrative, pointing out that the election doesn’t have to be as divisive.
Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox (R) and Chris Peterson (D), a law professor, both vying for the top position in the state of Utah, released a series of joint advertisements calling for civility among voters leading up to the general election on November 3rd.
In a year that has seen Republicans in Texas and Florida take part in joint advertisements that have been more cinematic, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox took to Twitter to make the announcement, admitting, “I’m not sure this has ever been done before… but as our national political dialogue continues to decline, my opponent and I decided to try something different.”
He then concluded, “let’s make Utah an example to the nation.”
— Spencer Cox (@SpencerJCox) October 20, 2020
In the advertisement, both candidates appear before a white background, admitting that just because they disagree ideologically, it doesn’t mean that they have to hate each other.
“We can disagree without hating each other,” asserted Cox, while Peterson added that “we can debate issues without degrading each other’s character.”
Moreover, voters have noted that lawmakers have only grown more divided instead of reaching across party lines to work on behalf of the American people during this time when the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect different aspects of Americans’ lives.
In the second ad, Peterson commented that “our common values transcend our political differences and the strength of our nation rests on our ability to see that.”
Today @SpencerJCox and I are releasing joint public service ads on civility in politics. Working together and the peaceful transfer of power are integral to what it means to be American. Let's reforge our national commitment to decency and democracy. #utpol #standunited pic.twitter.com/jeUJ78aVor
— Peterson for Utah (@PetersonUtah) October 20, 2020
Both candidates are running against each other after Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) announced last year that he would not seek re-election.