Wednesday, November 30

Walker pushes blockchain technology in 4th Congressional District race | News, Sports, Jobs





Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

January Walker sits for an interview at the Daily Herald office on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Walker is the United Utah Party nominee for Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

For voters exhausted by the two-party system, there is a third option. January Walker is running for Utah’s 4th Congressional District race, and the United Utah Party candidate expressed that she is ready to “unseat” incumbent Rep. Burgess Owens.

“I think we know the darker job performance that comes out of the two parties. If an individual doesn’t, I encourage them to look at the voting records and everything that’s happened in the last 100 years,” Walker told the Daily Herald. “The economy is huge, but even when we look at our current representation, how many politicians this election are addressing inflation? They are campaigning on it, but they have not proposed a single solution to fix inflation.”

In 2021, Walker held a listening campaign, speaking with over 1,000 people to hear what issues mattered most to them.

“I built my platform based on that feedback, so everything that’s on the website is Utah incentive,” she said. “Instead of saying just saying here are my ideas, it’s showing what’s a priority to you.”

Walker discovered water, inflation and election security were the highest priorities to the public. She believes her experience working in the technology industry allows her to find solutions.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

January Walker’s storage robot sits in the Daily Herald office on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

“I build multimillion dollar products to solve multimillion dollar problems. I feel like government has multi-million, billion-dollar problems and just to be able to take that skillset there is going to be huge,” Walker said.

Walker’s love of technology is not just felt throughout her campaign, it can be seen.

A personalized robot can always be seen with Walker when campaigning, even when marching in Ephraim’s Scandinavian Festival, something she said was a delight for people in attendance. She has left it up to the public to name the robot on her campaign website. For now, she calls it February — because it follows January.

Walker’s answer to addressing inflation, healthcare and identity security issues can be found in new technologies, specifically the blockchain.

“Just from a purely financial standpoint, the number one reason we haven’t been able to get our government spending under control is because there’s no accountability, they don’t know where the money is going, and they have made all these deals over the years,” Walker said. “When you tie government spending to the blockchain, we can see where all the money goes, and it suddenly makes it auditable. … Once you have all that taken care of, you can start cutting expenses and cutting spending and being more responsible.”

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

January Walker sits for an interview at the Daily Herald office on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Walker is the United Utah Party nominee for Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

If blockchain was implemented into government, Walker believes the national debt could be eliminated within two or three decades.

Josh Jay, Walker’s campaign manager, acknowledged that the concept of blockchain might difficult for some members of the public to accept. He compared the introduction of blockchain to the internet.

“If you look at the internet, in 2000, people were asking, ‘What’s the internet?’ In 2022, people are asking what is the blockchain,” Jay said. “Even now, I don’t fully understand how the internet works, but I understand its utility. I don’t fully understand blockchain, but I understand its utility, and in 10 years, we will all understand the idea of blockchain.”

Walker added that blockchain identity is a future that will protect the average person’s identity, especially from large social media companies and their collections of personal data.

Unlike Democratic candidate Darlene McDonald, who was certain she will debate against Owens, Walker doesn’t believe the incumbent will participate in any debates.

Harrison Epstein, Daily Herald

January Walker sits for an interview at the Daily Herald office on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Walker is the United Utah Party nominee for Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

“Based off his current behavior I don’t think he could handle me in a debate, and I think he knows that, so I don’t think he will debate,” she said.

Walker discussed an incident on the 2020 campaign trail for Owens when he, at a town hall meeting, told a staffer with the Utah Democratic Party to respect their elders, after he questioned the then-candidate’s finances.

Walker separates herself from other candidates because she says her campaign is built on solutions, unlike others.

“I’m sitting here going ‘ok, these are the things impacting inflation, these are the things we could quickly get implemented to help’ and if Burgess Owens reach out today and said, ‘Hey, I hear you have some solutions,’ I can set aside this race and put the people first.”

Walker, Owens and McDonald will be on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot for the 4th District. The 4th District includes all of Utah County west of Utah Lake and south of 400 South in Springville, along with portions of central Utah.



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