Congressional candidate Andrew Badger shares his views with local voters at a meet and greet session on Saturday at Green Canyon High School in North Logan.

NORTH LOGAN – If yard signs translated directly into votes, congressional candidate Andrew Badger was the big winner of a meet and greet Saturday sponsored by the Cache Republican Party.

Badger’s distinctive blue and white signs were flying off the candidate’s table during the two-hour event at Green Canyon High School in North Logan.

After the first public hearing of the Select House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill, which largely condemned former President Donald Trump, Badger was inevitably challenged to explain his “America First” platform.

“It’s not some kind of loyalty pledge to President Trump,” the former civilian intelligence officer laughed.

“President Trump is a flawed individual leader, just like any other politician,” Badger added. “But the policies and principles of the ‘America First’ agenda, which Trump helped to ignite in 2016, are irrefutably better for our country.”

The government works for us, Badger explained, not the other way around. The government has to put the interests of its citizens first. It can’t do that while serving lobbyists and globalists.

The tenants of the “America First” agenda are border security, energy independence, decoupling from China, prudent foreign policy and defending the free market, according to Badger.

On border security, Badger said that no nation can stand that doesn’t control its borders.

“No one is against immigration,” he added. “But we have to have a fair, regulated process to do that. We can’t do that with a broken border.”

Badger advocates for returning to a remain-in-Mexico policy, finishing Trump’s border wall and investing in more border patrol agents.

On energy independence, Badger believes in “drill, baby, drill!”

We have to get rid of prohibitions against drilling for oil,” he said. “We have to start opening up pipelines, including the Keystone and Dakota pipelines … We have to make energy affordable for American families again.”

“Decoupling from China” means bringing manufacturing back home where it belongs, particularly microchips and semiconductors.

“Almost all the microchips in the world are produced in Taiwan,” he said. “China recognized this and they’ve starting producing chips … That’s a critical vulnerability.”

As a graduate of Oxford University with a degree in diplomacy, Badger recognizes that committing our military overseas doesn’t always produce the best outcomes.

“We need a prudent foreign policy,” he explained.

Too often we deploy troops overseas without a clear definition of victory or an exit strategy.

“That’s how we got bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he emphasized. “What’s now going on in the Ukraine is a disaster … We’re sending Ukraine $40 billion in equipment that could end up in Russian hands.”

Finally, defending the free market means fighting back against Environmental, Social and Governance scores that banks are using to blackmail companies.

An ESG score is a measure of a company’s exposure to long-term environmental, social and governance risks often overlooked during traditional financial analyses.

Badger said, “ESG scores are a back-door way to impose a Marxist woke agenda or force companies to accept the green new deal.”

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was a no-show at the Saturday event. He was detained in Washington attending to Senate business, according to Shellie Giddings, the chair of the Cache Republicans.

But his rivals – former Utah representative Becky Edwards and businesswoman Ally Isom – were present.

In the race for the seat in the Utah’s 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Blake Moore was on-hand, along with Badger and former Morgan County commissioner Tina Cannon.

In the hotly contested State House 2 race, Utah Rep. Mike Petersen (R-UT) and former lawmaker Val Potter attended the meeting.

In local races, Mark R. Hurd and Chris Booth were on-hand, competing to replace Cache County Council member Gina H. Worthen.

Vying for the southeast seat on the county panel to replace Gordon Zilles were Kathryn A. Beus and Ladd Kennington.

Candidates running unopposed included state Rep. Casey Snider; County Executive David Zook; County Attorney John Luthy; County Clerk-Auditor Jess Bradfield; and County Sheriff Chad Jensen.

Newcomer Sandi Goodlander will run unopposed for the Logan 3 seat on the Cache County Council, replacing Paul Borup.

All of these contests will be decided by voters in the June 28 primary.

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