Utah Rep. Blake Moore’s first 10 days in Congress a baptism under fire

Blake Moore, Republican candidate for Utah’s 1st Congressional District, speaks at an election night event for Republican candidates in at the Utah Association of Realtors building in Sandy on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Moore’s opponent conceded the race Tuesday

Blake Moore speaks at an election night event for Republican candidates in Sandy on Nov. 3. The new representative for Utah’s 1st Congressional District has had an historic first 10 days in office. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — To greet Blake Moore with the often trite phrase “How are you?” didn’t seem to be the right way to start a conversation.

The first 10 days in office for Utah’s new 1st District congressman were not only a baptism by fire but a baptism under fire.

The 40-year-old father of three boys was in the House chamber Jan. 6 when armed supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an experience he could only describe as “harrowing.” He feared for his life, and the lives of his wife and children at home in Utah.

Moore also had a decision to make that day as Congress conducted the usually perfunctory task of counting states’ electoral votes for president. More than a hundred of his Republicans colleagues, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, whom Moore had voted for as speaker, planned to challenge the results in several states that Trump lost. What should he do?

A week later to the day, Moore found himself with another tough and unexpected decision to make — one he called the most painful of his life — as House Democrats sought to impeach Trump for inciting an insurrection. Again, what should he do?

So, casually asking him how he was doing like people do when they really don’t expect an answer seemed out of place

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“I appreciate you kind of even hesitating to ask that question because it’s been a very emotional, strenuous 10 days. It’s been quite an entry into this new world,” Moore said on the telephone a few hours after the impeachment vote Wednesday.

Through it all, Moore said he discovered something about himself.

“It’s just a lot to take in in a very short amount of time. I was glad to have the clarity that I did,” he said. “I actually look at both of those decisions that I had to make on the Wednesdays . . . And what ultimately came out of it for me was very much an objective framework to use. That’s something I learned about myself.”

That perhaps wonkish realization may serve the former management consultant well in his budding political career.

One of Moore’s first votes in Congress ran counter to the majority of his fellow House Republicans. He did not join the 121 Republicans who voted to exclude Arizona from the presidential election and the 138, including Utah GOP Reps. Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens, who voted the same for Pennsylvania in a failed effort to overturn the outcome.

When he voted against the majority in his party on his third day in office, Moore said he realized he could make seemingly hard and unpopular decisions. He said voting to strip electoral votes from a sovereign state is a dangerous precedent, and that he didn’t hear anything to justify it.

Just a …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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