Congressional candidates Blake Moore of Salt Lake City (left) and Darren Parry of Providence (right) have promised to run positive, issue-oriented campaigns in their race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop in Congress.

LOGAN – Anyone expecting fireworks in the race to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop in Congress had better think again.

Both Democrat Darren Parry of Providence and Republican Blake Moore of Salt Lake City have pledged to run positive, issue-oriented campaigns.

The candidates’ comments about each other also make them sound more like a mutual admiration society than political rivals.

“He’s an excellent person,” Moore says, referring to Parry. “There has been a little bit of interaction between us and it’s been very cordial.”

“I know Blake and we’ve talked quite a bit,” Parry says when asked to size up his opponent in the 1st District race. “He’s a great guy; I like him a lot.”

The two candidates could hardly be more different in their backgrounds.

Moore is a business consultant with the Cicero Group in Salt Lake City. A political novice, he came out of nowhere to wrest the GOP nomination from political veterans Mayor Katie Witt of Kaysville, Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson and former state Agriculture Commissioner Kerry Gibson in the Republican primary on June 30.

Moore’s background includes experience as a foreign service officer involved in intelligence gathering and analysis for the State Department.

Parry, a former leader of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation tribe in Brigham City, has been active in Utah political circles for years. Running as a moderate, Parry narrowly defeated progressive Jamie Cheek of Ogden in the Democratic primary.

Despite the candidates’ cordial relations, Parry says that he likes his chances against Moore.

“In a smaller field of candidates,” Parry says, “I’m not sure that Blake Moore would have won the GOP nomination … It seems to me that Blake just got lucky because the four-person race turned out to be a perfect storm for him.”

Parry believes that Moore will also have to work hard during the upcoming campaign to overcome his relative youth and political inexperience.

“Blake just turned 40,” Parry explains. “When I think back to my own experiences, I’m not sure that I’d have been much of a leader and decision-maker at age 40 versus now when I’m at age 60. I have so much more knowledge and experience now that I didn’t have at 40.”

Moore, on the other hand, seems to be planning to learn from his opponent.

“I think that our conversations about issues over the next few months could actually help to build bridges,” Moore suggests, deftly co-opting a trait that Parry lists as one of his strengths. “I think that there is more that binds us together than divides us.

“If I’m successful in winning this seat in Congress, I hope that I’ll be able to stay in touch with Darren and solicit ideas from him.”

Balloting in the upcoming general election in November will determine whether Moore or Parry will replace Rep. Bishop in Congress.

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