Phil Lyman explains his vision for Utah if he becomes governor

May 20, 2024 (KSL)
Note: The Utah Foundation is non-partisan. Our research is simply referenced in this story which was published elsewhere as a paid political advertisement by Phil Lyman for Governor.
Amidst a growing sentiment of discontent, Utah’s political landscape may be on the brink of a seismic shift. Phil Lyman, who is running for the Utah governor’s office, is emerging as a serious contender for the state’s top office.

The recent Republican Party Nominating Convention served as a battleground, where Lyman defeated Gov. Spencer Cox by capturing over 67% of delegate votes statewide. The message from party faithfuls was clear: it’s time for a change.

Meet the new candidate seeking to be governor of Utah

Since 2019, Lyman has been serving as a Utah legislator in the House of Representatives, where he has a consistent conservative voting record. Phil and his wife Jody have five children and 17 grandchildren. As a CPA in the small town of Blanding, Phil is quick to point out the impact that his small firm has had as they have developed businesses that have had an impact locally, regionally, and internationally.

No stranger to politics, Lyman has made a name for himself as a fearless leader who’s well-known in San Juan County and throughout the region. While serving as county commissioner, he stood up to the Obama administration by leading a protest in Recapture Canyon in San Juan County in 2014.

According to Dennis Romboy writing for the Deseret News, Lyman and others rode ATVs into the canyon to protest the closure to off-road vehicle use in 2007. Lyman will tell you that this protest had very little to do with a trail and everything to do with the heavy hand of the BLM operating in collusion with outside special interest groups intent on stopping all forms of production in San Juan County.

In response to the protest, Phil and four others were later charged and prosecuted in federal court for “misdemeanor conspiracy to trespass.” He and one other person were convicted. The others were found not guilty. Phil was sentenced to 10 days in federal prison. In December 2020, President Trump issued a full presidential pardon stating that Phil never have been charged, Kyle Dunphey of the Associated Press wrote.

It is important to note that the prosecution dropped all allegations of damage to archeology after such allegations were deemed to have been spurious and unfounded. Still, politically motivated individuals continue to promote the false narrative that the event, which was conducted entirely on a country road, caused any damage to archaeological sites.

Lyman’s position on major policies

Lyman strives to embody strong, principled leadership. His willingness to call out corruption, gaslighting and special interests that are actively working to influence Utah policy has gained him support on the campaign trail.

Restoring all levels of government to their proper lanes is one of his top priorities. He believes that Utah should push back against unconstitutional federal laws, rules and mandates and that people make better decisions for themselves than the government does.

He wants to grow the economy, put parents and kids first in education and reform state policies that incentivize illegal immigration. He’s also been at the forefront of fighting for transparent and secure elections, accessing the wealth of Utah’s public lands and achieving energy independence in the state.

Making the economy work for families, not elitists

Recent data from the University of Utah’s Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute states that housing in the state is “severely unaffordable,” making it harder than ever for first-time buyers to find homes. This and other hot-button issues — such as inflation and ever-increasing taxes — are a few things Lyman aims to address as governor. Also, according to the April 2024 Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment, Utah’s sentiment is below the national sentiment.

“We can have affordable homes in Utah again, but it will require leadership rooted in commitment to the principles of free markets, limited regulation, and low taxes,” he writes on his website.

“Unchecked government spending paid for with printed dollars is also fueling inflation that is making homes, and everything else, unaffordable. We shouldn’t be focused on finding billion dollar homes for baseball and hockey teams until Utah families see reduced stress on their wallets.”

Lyman voted against Cox’s solution to the housing affordability crisis. You can learn more on the Lyman For Utah website.

Removing ‘woke’ agenda from schools

Lyman believes that schools are increasingly becoming caught in the crosshairs of culture wars with social and emotional indoctrination replacing academic teaching.

“We need to stop throwing money and resources at widely promoted but deeply flawed approaches, such as intrusive social emotional surveys and lessons, discriminatory social justice ideologies, sexualized content, labeling kids according to identity politics, and excessive use of tech to program and track student mindsets,” he states on his website.

He wants to support teachers while maintaining that parents should be the primary influence on children. You can read more about his educational policies on his website.

Getting illegal immigration under control

Lyman stands firm against illegal immigration and is ready to conduct a top-down review of Utah’s immigration policies.

“It’s imperative to streamline the legal immigration process, making it more accessible for those seeking to come to America legally,” Lyman states on his website. “A secure border, followed by a rational, legal immigration process is the only way we can ensure that our infrastructure, housing supply and labor markets put the needs of American families first while also helping to stem the recent surge in crime committed by illegal immigrants.”

You can learn more about Lyman’s immigration policy and vision on his policy page.

Putting Utah first

Lyman also has a comprehensive agenda for election integrity, energy independence and public lands. Above all, he believes that the government should exist to make people’s lives easier, not harder. He’s often quoted as saying that “honest people have rights too, and the only hope they have is that other honest people will stand up when those rights are being threatened.”

A recent Utah Foundation survey found that 62% of Utahns believe the state is headed in the wrong direction. As Phil Lyman’s campaign slogan states, with the right leader, there are “Better Roads Ahead.”

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