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A Look at Jason Walton and the Rise of Non-Politician

Utah's senate race intensifies as several candidates vie to be the top Republican choice, with one who appeals to anti-establishment voters.

Next week, delegates at the Republican state convention in Utah are gathering to deliberate between a crowded field of GOP challengers, all of whom seek to replace retiring U.S. Senator Mitt Romney. Among them are U.S. Representative John Curtis, former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, and businessman Jason Walton.

Walton is the CEO of Moxie Pest Control, a company that boasts over $235 million in revenue and operates across 19 states. Unlike his competitors, Walton has not previously held public office. Among Utah Republicans, that could end up being a key element to success and not a demerit. This was one of the foremost reasons Utahns rallied around then-candidate Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential campaign. 

To that point, Walton seeks to distinguish himself as an alternative to career politicians. In his own words, it’s time to elect candidates “who have no strings attached to them, that don’t owe political favors to people and who aren’t seeking political advancement when they get into office.”

“What [constituents] are saying is ‘the last thing we need is another politician,’” said Walton. “They want a businessperson who knows something about budgeting, and bootstrapping, and starting something out of the garage and making it into something.” 

Like former President Trump, Walton can be seen as an outsider, and his campaign leverages this identity to promise a shake-up of the status quo. He’s even gone as far as to describe himself as “someone that was disillusioned with politics.” At a glance, Walton's values seem very much aligned with the former President—from ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood to securing the U.S.-Mexico border “before securing borders overseas” as quoted on his campaign website.  

Walton’s other political priorities include supporting Sen. Mike Lee’s REINS Act, aimed at lessening the burden of excessive regulations, and the Balanced Budget Amendment, which would promote fiscal responsibility by requiring the federal government to balance its annual budget each year. For context, the national debt recently surpassed $31.38 trillion—approximately 100% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP)—and that number is expected to double over the next 25 years.

Despite having not served as an elected official, Walton has already demonstrated a penchant for combating burdensome regulations and overbroad government mandates. In an interview with Pest Control Technology, Walton described the challenges of running a pest control business in the midst of state-mandated lockdowns—and how that challenge inspired him to “get up off the couch and do something about it.”

“During COVID, we put out over one thousand job offers and couldn't hire because the federal government was paying people more money not to work,” Walton said. “I never thought I would compete against my own government, which was paying people… not to be productive.”  

It is worth noting that, at the time of writing, Trump has yet to throw his support behind any candidate. Pundits also predict that his endorsement could be a game-changer

Until then, Walton is focused on making his case directly to voters and delegates in the hopes that his vision for a practical, results-oriented approach to governance will be a breath of fresh air for divided Utahns. It may be a crowded field, but Walton is excited to be a part of it.

“I’m a businessman; I’m not a politician… and I think that’s just one way that I’m distinguished,” he explained. “I started a business out of my garage years ago, and wasn’t able to pay myself anything for the first couple of years. (I) grew that business and fought against government corruption and big government… That’s my experience, and now I look forward to being able to go do something about it.”


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