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The Third District Race: Chris Herrod

By Rick Sherman
Sun Advocate Reporter

Former State Representative Chris Herrod of Provo stands out in a crowded field of candidates, in part because of his understanding of international affairs. Herrod said he has deep roots in Utah, but has lived in Western Europe and Russia, and has visited almost 40 countries. He served an LDS mission in Sweden and taught at the university level in the former Soviet Union.
Herrod has served six years in the State House of Representatives and made an unsuccessful bid in 2012 for the U.S. Senate seat held for more than 40 years by Senator Orrin Hatch.
During an interview with the Sun Advocate Friday, Herrod recalled, “When I was teaching in the Ukraine, I got married to my wife who grew up in the Soviet Union and so I’m very familiar with that region of the world.”
Herrod noted that while domestic policy gets the most discussion, it’s important for a U.S. Representative to have an international understanding.
“I understand (Vladimir) Putin pretty well. Putin is a chess player. He’s a strong man and you’ve got to stand up to him,” he stated.
Herrod is of the opinion that the Russian leader helped create the firestorm over alleged collusion in the 2016 election as a diversion. He pointed out, “Russia has basically invaded the Ukraine. Putin’s just loving it because as long as we’re talking about the collusion issue, we’re not talking about some of the other issues that we need to address.”
Herrod takes a strong stance on immigration, especially for Muslims. He emphasized Sharia law is not compatible with the U.S. Constitution, and the Islamic issue needs to be addressed. “If we don’t,” he continued, “by default what’s happened in Europe is going to happen here. I understand, I think, the Islamic culture fairly well. My father-in-law was actually raised Muslim.”
The former State Representative called his tenure in the Utah House highly effective. “I like to argue that I was the first Wasatch Front legislator that fully understood how the oppression of the Federal Government affects rural Utah.”
As a sophomore legislator up on the hill, Herrod said he was able to drive the agenda. With four other like-minded members of the legislature, he was one of the founding members of an organization called the Patrick Henry Caucus. Herrod declared, “We kind of reignited state’s rights, the tenth amendment, and then created the atmosphere for Mike Lee to get elected.”
Herrod got into the race through the caucus/convention method. He related, “I’m a big believer in the caucus because I think it’s the great equalizer to money and name recognition.” And he said Senate Bill 54, which allows candidates to get on the ballot by gathering signatures, is flawed because government should not dictate how a private organization such as the Republican Party can choose its leadership.
On fossil fuel extractive industries, Herrod predicted there is plenty of time for coal and other carbon-based fuels. “I think we need to give credit for how much cleaner they are today than in the past. We need to do what we can to make it environmentally safe but I think there is an artificial war on coal just because it’s coal.”
Herrod said on land issues, he has always been a multi-use person, and considers himself as an environmentalist. “But I define an environmentalist as a steward over the land, not somebody that just locks it up.” Too often, he says National Parks or Wilderness Areas only benefit the tourism industry and provide low paying jobs.
If elected, bringing power back to the states would be one primary objective for Herrod, and another is, “to claw back the power the legislative branch has given to the executive branch.”
As for the crowded field of candidates in the race, Herrod quipped,
“If I didn’t think I had something unique to add, I wouldn’t be in it.”

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