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An Accomplished Mayor, McAdams Hopes to Bring Bipartisan Approach to a Polarized Congress

October 17, 2018 by TWN Staff
Ben McAdams, Official campaign candid photo

If you ask Ben McAdams how he has managed to accomplish so much as Salt Lake County Mayor, his answer is pretty simple. Collaboration and bipartisanship. Once a politically toxic approach in many areas of the country, polling shows that public sentiment has shifted significantly in recent years. Headed into the 2018 midterm elections, voters now say their political frustrations center on politicians’ inability to collaborate in a productive way and that they are more likely to support candidates who work across the aisle.

McAdams references his own frustration with Congress’ inability to make progress on major issues facing Americans as a reason he is running to replace Representative Mia Love in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

“Members are too busy fighting each other to get anything done. I believe both parties have good ideas and neither party is always right. I know from my own effort working with a Republican-majority County Council to balance budgets and keep taxes low that lasting progress takes collaboration,” said McAdams.

In addition to working across the aisle, McAdams is known for his practical, fact-based approach to governing. As Salt Lake County Mayor, McAdams once spent 3 days and 2 nights posing as a homeless man in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande district, an area of the city plagued by drugs and violence. He and the county’s director of government affairs stayed at the Road Home homeless shelter to better understand the challenges facing the area and to gather information before recommending a new shelter location.

McAdams knew that the only way he was going to be successful in making the area safer was going to be through bipartisan cooperation.

“When city, county and state leaders looked at the crime and chaos surrounding the downtown emergency homeless shelter on Rio Grande Street, we saw everyone needed to work together to make the area safe and that we couldn’t just arrest our way out of the problem. Republicans, Democrats and Independents joined together with nonprofit groups, faith leaders, business leaders and law enforcement. A year later, even though there is more work to do, the area shows noticeable improvement,” said McAdams.

McAdams frequently uses this type of fact-based, hands-on approach to decision-making and says he will do the same if elected to Congress. Unfortunately, he says that, due to the fact that Love does not hold town hall meetings, she was frequently unavailable to him and others when they needed her help advocating Salt Lake County before federal agencies.

“Openness and transparency are essential in a democracy. So is listening. That’s how I learn what individuals and small businesses see as the consequence of a bill or policy. Utah and America face serious challenges, such as how to make quality, affordable health care available to everyone, and how to ensure that older Utahns who rely on Social Security and Medicare will be secure. Lives are literally at stake, based on the decisions Congress makes in the coming years,” he said.

McAdams has launched a “Ben Bus Tour” in order to reach voters across the district. Speaking to voters, McAdams has a simple message.

“A year ago, people who know me asked why I decided to run. Many knew how much I love serving in local elected office and how much I care about tackling issues and getting something done. Utah is known as a place where people put differences aside, roll up their sleeves and search for common sense solutions. I will take my independent Utah values to Washington, where I’ll put you before party and do what’s right for Utah and the nation.”

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