GOP Email Reacts to First Love/Owens Debate

The first debate between Republican Mia Love and Democrat Doug Owens certainly got the attention of the Utah Republican Party.


Late last week, an email from Party Chair James Evans titled “Leading Democrat Cautions Democrat Doug Owens” went out to their mailing list. The missive accused Owens of “dishonesty and deception” during the event.

What we did not expect was the depth of deception by Doug Owens towards Mia, so much so, that fellow Democrat and moderator, Frank Pignanelli, commented in a Deseret News article …”that Democrats such as Owens need to be cautious in how they attempt to distinguish themselves against a better known Republican opponent…”  What that translates to is stop being fast and loose with the facts.

Owens continued his deception as he tried to define himself. He said he is for Utah but supports Obamacare, he trusts the federal government to manage Utah’s public lands more than he trusts Utahns,

It’s clear that Doug Owens does not trust the decency and common sense of Utahns, because he prefers the solutions critical to Utah come from Washington, D.C.

“Anyone who quotes me is desperate,” quipped Pignanelli when contacted about the email.

Pignanelli says what got the attention of most attendees at the debate was the “ferocity” with which Owens attacked Love.

“You usually expect a candidate to take a couple of shots during a debate, but it was in nearly every discussion,” said Pignanelli. “Jim Matheson would take shots, but his was more of a scalpel instead of a sledgehammer.”

“We’re glad they’re noticing,” says Emily Hollingshead, campaign manager for Doug Owens.

“The problem is the Utah Republican is used to Democrats having milquetoast campaigns,” Hollingshead continued. “We’re here to play and give voters a real choice this time.”

Pignanelli speculates that Republicans may be nervous about the line of attack pushed by Owens that Love was a “cheerleader” for the government shutdown. A Utah Data Points poll from October of 2013 found most Utahns (57%) did not favor Sen. Mike Lee’s role in the government shutdown.

“Maybe that’s why they’re nervous,” says Pignanelli. “They probably felt they needed to respond.”