Candidate for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District Devin Thorpe Talks on His Main Issues


Devin Thorpe in his promotional campaign photo. (Courtesy Devin Thorpe’s campaign)

By Natalie Colby, Editor-in-Chief


On March 3, Devin Thorpe announced his run for the 3rd Congressional District of Utah against Republican incumbent John Curtis. Thorpe will run as a Democrat.

Thorpe said he decided to run because he has spent several years writing about issues such as global health, extreme poverty and climate change, and he started to get anxious about how he could do more than just report on them.

“Recently, I concluded that the best way for me to work on those issues is in Congress,” he said. “So we are going to for it.”

His campaign slogan “Utah Values, Bold Solutions” represents both parts of what he wants to promote and accomplish.

Thorpe said he thinks Utahns generally share the same values, even across the party lines. He said Utahns love their country and their state and that there is no misalignment of values — even in the most controversial topics. Thorpe said that most disagreements come from a difference in how to approach these issues. 

Thorpe said that his bold solutions include efforts to reverse climate change. “I am so excited about what a clean economy looks like,” he said.

Thorpe said he wants to invest in a massive amount of clean energy, including wind, solar and geothermal energy, and while the initial cost may be high, he thinks these efforts will more than pay for themselves.

Thorpe said he feels the same sense of urgency about climate change that is prevalent among many college students. He thinks if the federal government is aggressive enough in its approach, they can make changes quickly.

Thorpe also discussed the rising cost of tuition and the student loan crisis.

“Someone who graduates from the University of Utah should not end up with a mortgage-sized loan balance. That is just criminal,” he said.

 Thorpe said the federal government should be investing a lot more in education and public schools should be accessible for anyone who wants to go. He also said the government should not be profiting from the student loan industry.

Thorpe’s campaign also focuses on the issue of health care, and he said one of the biggest threats to the country is the millions and millions of people who don’t have health insurance.

“It is critically important to me that we find the ways that will cover the absolute most people possible at the most affordable price, and I’m going to fight for that every day,” he said.

In addition to these issues, Thorpe said he wants to restore comity, courtesy and consideration on Capitol Hill. 

Bryn Dayton, a senior studying gender studies, is a member of University of Utah’s branch of Students for a Democratic Society, a progressive student organization on campus who are fighting for the student movement.

They said they thought Thorpe is an okay candidate and appreciated some of the points he emphasized on his website.

SDS believes health care is one of the most important issues, and Dayton said they think Thorpe understands that.

SDS’s main platform for the year is working on making mental health care accessible and affordable at the U.

Additionally, Dayton thought Thorpe’s positions on climate change were good, especially because he touched on providing assistance for workers in industries that would shrink when moving to more environmentally conscious resources.

“I think that it’s really important that, as we are moving towards sustainability, we are also taking care of workers,” Dayton said.

They did have some concerns about the candidate’s lack of specific policies and plans available to the public, as well as a moment in Thorpe’s campaign video where he showed pictures of him surrounded by African children.

Dayton said this struck them as a white savior moment. A white savior moment is when someone helps non-white people in a way that is self-serving and meant to make themselves look better.

Additionally, Dayton said they were concerned that Thorpe seems wealthy and that he declared himself as a genuine capitalist. Dayton said they believed that capitalism is the root cause of poverty.

“Change comes from the bottom,” they said. “It does not trickle down.”

Thorpe will face significant challenges to win in this heavily Republican district. In 2018, Curtis won 67.5% of the vote, which was 40 points ahead of James Singer, the Democratic challenger.


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