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Mike Seguin discusses his efforts to create the Utah Bull-Moose Party at the offices of the Standard-Examiner on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. He hopes to run for the U.S. Senate under the party’s banner.
Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
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The Utah Bull-Moose party logo, pictured Friday February 4, 2022. Mike Seguin of the Ogden Valley is spearheading the creation of the new party.
Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
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Mike Seguin, center, with some staff at his Eden-area restaurant, the Mad Moose Cafe, in an undated photo. Seguin, with the help of some of his employees, seeks to create the Utah Bull-Moose Party.
Photo provided, Mike Seguin
OGDEN — Mike Seguin isn’t just running for the US Senate.
He is pushing for the creation of a new political party by laying the groundwork for a candidacy for the seat now held by US Senator Mike Lee, a Republican. The Ogden Valley resident, who operates a restaurant in the Eden area, the Mad Moose Cafespearheaded the collection of signatures on petitions to create what he calls the Utah Bull-Moose Party.
“We are quite new. This is the first shot out of the stable, so to speak,” he said.
He needs 2,000 signatures from registered voters to start the party and says he’s collected about 3,000, though his request is being reviewed by the Utah lieutenant governor’s office, which oversees those matters. He submitted the documents to state officials late last week.
Seguin joins a long list of candidates with an eye on the seat now held by Lee, a Utah County resident entering his third term. Regardless of the long odds he likely faces, he says his candidacy stands out because he bypasses the traditional route to power via the Republican or Democratic parties.
“We want to put the American voter first,” he said.
Seguin’s proposed party name is a nod to 1912 U.S. presidential hopeful Teddy Roosevelt, a former Republican who sought a third presidential term under the banner of the Progressive Party, also known as the Bull Moose Party. . A key goal for Seguin in modern times is health care reform.
“Affordable health care for our families is the most important underlying theme of the Utah Bull-Moose Party. We know it can be managed smarter to make it accessible and financially manageable for all American workers,” reads the party’s online platform. The platform expresses its support for limiting deductibles and its opposition to the establishment of a single-payer system.
Beyond that, Seguin says he avoids policy solutions that strictly align with one side of the political spectrum or the other.
“We don’t like to go that route. We are neither right nor left,” said Seguin, a retired US Army and State Department colonel. He offered his views during a visit to the offices of the Standard-Examiner.
Seguin had never really thought about a candidacy until he left the military and diplomatic service in the mid-2010s and launched his restaurant. Some of his younger employees weren’t as engaged in civic affairs as he thought they should be, Seguin said. This prompted him to try to strike up a conversation about political issues, which ultimately led him to found the party and run for office.
“It’s kind of a fortuitous trip,” he said. It would be his first run for office and he has focused on the U.S. Senate seat because he believes that is where he is best suited given his military and State Department experience.
The Utah Bull-Moose Party platform was a team effort – created and fine-tuned with input from Sequin Restaurant customers and employees. Seguin would place political platform proposals on sheets of paper on the walls of the restaurant and patrons would add to them, crossing things out or jotting down their own ideas.
As a result, the wording of platform positions can sometimes appear general.
“A strong economy and smart fiscal policy are key elements of our national security,” reads the platform’s statement on economy and taxation. He goes on to express support for federal policy that “rewards innovation and innovative approaches” by businesses to help sustain the US economy.
On the federal budget and deficit, the platform calls on federal officials to work on annual, five-year, and 25-year budgets to create a “realistic map for sound, debt-free fiscal management.”
The platform notes how divisive the Second Amendment can be. “I support the right of responsible, emotionally stable, law-abiding American citizens to own and bear arms,” it read.
On “questions of morality”, the platform remains on the fence, deferring “to the will of the constituency”.
Seguin maintains that his candidacy is not symbolic, but his candidacy would be by far. If his attempt to create a new party fails, he added, he still plans to run, even if it means running an election campaign.
“We will continue even if they beat us down on signings,” he said.