Following is a Q&A Interview by Candidates.Vote writer Clark H. Caras with Josh A. Daniels
Caras – Josh, you were only recently elected to serve as Vice Chairman of the Utah County Republican Party and now you are a candidate for a spot on the Saratoga Springs City Council. I can’t be the first to ask if you are just a glutton or addicted to politics?
Exhaling with a chuckle, Daniels answers — Neither. I am a resident of a new and growing community here in Saratoga Springs. With the announcement of a new LDS Temple to be built here and the location of the community; we have the opportunity to be a part of seeing us become the gateway to a city of one million (Eagle Mountain).
Caras – You are a student of government and public policy in your career choice, how is being a candidate different?
Daniels, who works for an advocacy group putting forward School Choice and Charter Schools, said – It didn’t really feel real (being a candidate). Then it just clicks, my name is on the ballot. And all of the sudden I have people saying telling me they want this, they want that.
Please fix this… we need a beach.”
Caras – You actually have people who want the first priority to be a “beach”?
Daniels – Yes, a beach. And it seems once my name is on the ballot, I can fix it. Maybe being such a new community has a lot to do with it. My belief is because of that position we have got to be innovative and I think I can bring that.
Caras – What is “candidate” Daniels reading as he contemplates being on the City Council?
Daniels – “Building a Learning Culture in America,” by Kevin Chavous. It’s incredibly useful in what I do and working in the charter school sector and believing in the necessity of school choice.
I was able to meet Chavous at a conference I attended and he was great to visit with. His perspectives are fascinating. He is black and a Democrat who believes America needs to bring back a culture of learning it once had.
Caras – So, what does your wife think about being one of the First Ladies of Saratoga Springs?
Daniels – Amy and I have four kids. A daughter who is 13 years old and three boys, 9 to 2. It’s a bit intimidating for them because they don’t fully understand it. They do, including Amy, know how to knock on doors. Now they’ll just be doing it for “Dad.”
We want the children to learn and to care about what they are doing where they live. And so far, Amy hasn’t rocked the boat. She’s been incredibly supportive.
Really though. My kids think I’m the smartest person in the world. And really, I’m just the guy who developed a background and perspective as to people’s proper rights and liberties. And I hope my kids will be able to see that.
Caras – Not needing a full genealogy on you, but because people are always interested in a candidate’s background. What is the who, what, when, where and how of candidate Josh Alden Daniels?
Daniels – Well, I had an uncle from Santaquin and a hard-rock miner who lived in Eureka back in late pioneer times. The name Huntington were among the settlers of Springville and that’s great grandparents.
I grew up in Utah, California and Kansas – Topeka, the capital. I got a degree from BYU and after that graduated from the University of Houston in Texas.
Caras – The degree in Texas that was law school wasn’t it?
Daneils – It was.
Caras – And from there my understanding is your first real job also includes a being a part of a phrase that will always be historic in America.
Daniels – Yes, you could say my first real job was the Marines. And in 2007 with the Marines I was a part of the “Surge” going into Iraq. I was with the Marines from 2001 to 2009. Spent a lot of time in Fallujah, Iraq with the Sixth Marine as a Sargent. But I guess my first “real” job was as a Walmart Associate in Kansas while I was in high school.
Caras – So what’s the last movie you and your wife Amy were able to sneak away to?
Daniels – Wonder Woman (he says with some real enthusiasm). It was great! Here you had this violent superhero movie and the way they won the day was thru the power of love.
Caras – So dad and mom got to see Wonder Woman. What about the kids in Candidate Daniel’s household; what movie did they last see?
Daniels – Well. It was a marathon for them. We finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia. So we had a weekend of the trilogy of the Narnia movies.
Caras – There is an obvious like of Superheroes with you. Who is your Hero?
Daniels – Easy. My father is my idol and mentor. He taught with something out of the Seven Habits. “Speak first to Understand. And speak to be understood.” We talk to each other about politics all of the time and if there is an opposite side, we make sure we talk until we talk past each other one it.
He taught me that to work in serving my local community was the first of all good things and endeavors.
Caras – Obviously an very great man. What we want to know now is what do you enjoy eating?
Daniels – I love sushi and I absolutely love to cook a good steak! I have this secret that never fails. I call it Reverse Searing. I have to admit I’m a foodie and I love food shows.
Caras – One last question for Candidate Daniels. What do you want to say to end this read?
Daniels – Quality of life is not something government creates. It’s something we obtain when government is out of our way. We (elected members of the community) are facilitating their ability to make the choices.
Caras – Thank you Josh. Good luck with the race and someday I’m going to bring you some steaks from the ranch and see what this Reverse Searing is all about.
By Clark Caras