If you're tired of the negativity and hate in U.S. politics, then the latest campaign ad from the Democratic and Republican candidates for Utah's next governor will feel like a breath of fresh air.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox of the GOP and Chris Peterson, a Democrat, joined together to create an ad that shows today's politicians can still respect one another, even if they're on opposite sides of the aisle. In the short clip, the unlikely pair stand, socially distanced, in a room to discuss what they do agree on.
After they introduce themselves and clarify, with a laugh, that they both want viewers' votes, Peterson, sporting a blue donkey pin, tells the camera, "We can debate issues without degrading each other's character."
Cox, wearing a red elephant pin, adds, "We can disagree without hating each other."
"And win or lose, in Utah, we work together," Peterson continues.
"So let's show the country that there's a better way," Cox concludes.
At the end, both candidates announce in unison that "we approve this message," before "#StandUnited" appears on the screen.
Cox shared the video on Twitter Tuesday morning, explaining that he wasn't sure if such a strategy had even been done before.
"As our national political dialogue continues to decline, my opponent @PetersonUtah and I decided to try something different," he wrote. "We can disagree without hating each other. Let’s make Utah an example to the nation."
"I want to thank Chris for his willingness to record these PSA’s with me," he added in a follow-up tweet. "No matter who wins the presidential election, we must all commit to a peaceful transfer of power and working together. So please vote and then let’s #standunited for a better America."
Peterson also shared the video and thanked his opponent for his participation.
"With the deep divisions in our country, it can take grace and courage to try to work together," he tweeted. "No matter who wins the presidential election, we must all commit to a peaceful transfer of power."
The ad was met with plenty of praise online, with viewers calling out how inspiring it is to see two opposing parties collaborating.
"So refreshing to open Twitter this morning, & see this uplifting appeal to civility, to unity!" one person replied in a tweet. "I’m actually really moved to see you two doing this PSA together... It gives me great hope. Our state, our nation really needs to see this right now. Thanks, guys!"
"As a Dem I’ll always have utmost admiration for Mr. Cox after this beautiful tribute," added another. "This is a decent man through and through."
"Thank you for showing me that the America I used to know is still there. Your message should be practiced by more politicians. You are a power of example. Thank you," tweeted a third.
Cox is currently polling ahead of Peterson, according to a Deseret News and Hinckley Institute of Politics poll released Monday night. Half of respondents said they'd vote for Cox if the election were today, while 26% said they supported Peterson.
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