SALT LAKE CITY – Congressional candidate Blake Moore admits that he is still adjusting to his recent leap from dark horse to frontrunner in the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop in Congress.
But that change has only increased his enthusiasm for the campaign.
“I get more excited everyday about this amazing opportunity,” Moore explains. “When that happens, you know that you’ve made the right decision to take on this challenge.
“I know, everybody says ‘Why do you want to run for Congress? Politics is such a mess.’ But the opportunity to provide this kind of service to the people of the 1st Congressional District is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.”
Moore is a business consultant with the Cicero Group in Salt Lake City. His background includes experience as a foreign service officer involved in intelligence gathering and analysis for the State Department.
Moore was a political novice when he joined a 12-way pile-up of Republican candidates vying to replace Bishop early this year. Despite that inexperience, he emerged from the ranked-choice voting at the GOP state convention in April with 43.2 percent of delegates’ votes.
Moore went on to best three political veterans — Mayor Katie Witt of Kaysville, Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson and former state Agriculture Commissioner Kerry Gibson – in GOP primary balloting on June 30.
“I was thrilled to do as well as I did in Cache Valley and Box Elder County during the primary,” Moore says, “because I wasn’t well known when we started this race. Yes, we had a good commercial. But our success was mostly due to grass roots efforts.
“I think the real key was connecting with one person who then reached out to 20 or 30 people in their personal network. And we did that over and over again.”
With the Republican nod in his pocket, it would not be surprising for Moore to now expect to cruise to victory in the November general election.
Utah is widely regarded as the most staunchly Republican state in America. Utah’s 1st Congressional District is not only considered to be the most solidly Republican one in the state, it is also believed to be the 13th most conservative one of the 435 districts in the country.
Moreover, the 1st District’s seat in Congress has not been held by a Democrat for four decades.
Of the nearly 150,000 ballots cast by 1st District voters in the party primaries on June 30, only 15 percent were cast by Democrats and unaffiliated voters.
“But I’m not taking anything for granted,” Moore insists. “I refuse to take on that mentality. I know that I’m now considered to be a heavy favorite, but I’m not going to get complacent. That’s not the way my campaign team is structured … We’re gearing up for a really positive issue-based campaign.”
Moore will face-off against Democratic candidate Darren Parry of Providence in the general election in November.