With the Utah 1st Congressional District election one day away, United Utah Party candidate Eric Eliason paid a visit to Weber State University for campaigning on Nov. 5.
Eliason is running against Republican incumbent Rob Bishop and Democrat Lee Castillo for U.S. House District 1 in the Nov. 6 election.
“We have been trying to come to Weber State for a while,” Eliason said. “When we were finally able to get it arranged, it made sense. A lot of people have come by.”
Steven Prawitt, a staff member on “Eric Eliason for Congress,” said he thinks Eliason has gotten a substantial amount of support in Ogden.
“Ogden has seen our best volunteer outreach,” Prawitt said. “We’ve knocked on most doors here. It’s really an informed populous that composes the middle ground sort of people.”
Staff volunteers spent a majority of the afternoon attempting to persuade students to vote for Eliason. The candidate said he hopes to see more of the student body become involved.
“The problem is that students don’t vote,” Eliason said. “It’s really unfortunate. If you look at who’s voted, the average age is 58. The average age of a Utahn is 29. Those who are voting are twice the average age for the state.”
Eliason said students have the ability to make a difference if they vote.
“Students can actually swing the entire vote, but they don’t believe they can, so they don’t vote,” Eliason said. “If they actually do, there’s a voice to be heard. They can make a real difference.”
Prawitt said he has appreciated Eliason’s efforts since day one.
“I met Eric and was instantly impressed by his grasp of issues and his passion for the environment,” Prawitt said. “He was bringing together Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated, and it was inspiring to me that we could see that kind of movement in Utah.”
Even though Eliason is a third-party candidate, Prawitt is hopeful for his chances in the election.
“I think it would make national news,” Prawitt said. “Previously, the best a third-party candidate has done is Jim Bennett last year with ten percent of the District vote. If (Eliason) is elected tomorrow night, I think it will be a huge message to the country that voters are not okay with being told how to vote by their parties.”
If elected, Eliason said he plans to make a difference in the community of and around Weber State.
“Being able to have a voice on campus and in Ogden is huge,” Eliason said. “If we are able to get back to an accessible congressman, that would be a really good thing for students.”