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Physician Peter Clemens, a Democrat, has a remedy to today's toxic politics he offered during a debate Monday: new blood — his. But Rep. Rob Bishop said what truly benefits Utah in Washington is power, and he says he wields it well.

Clemens, a retired Army captain, mounted attacks on the seven-term incumbent on topics from supporting Donald Trump to public lands, health care, climate change and what he says is Bishop's caustic attitude toward the federal government that could endanger Hill Air Force Base, the 1st District's largest employer.

Bishop returned fire, saying that as chairman of the House Resources Committee and as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, he is the one with the power to save the air base and to fight to protect public lands in ways Utahns want.

The pair jabbed during an hourlong discussion sponsored by the Utah Debate Commission at Weber State University, the only time the two are scheduled to face off. Bishop leads by more than 30 points in recent polls.

As part of Clemens' call for new blood, he said the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has "problems that need to be fixed, but a doctor will help address those better than someone who is a career politician."

"My opponent," he added, "has asked you to re-elect him because he is powerful." But Clemens said the government should be based on "we the people, not we the powerful. Unlike my opponent, I am not intoxicated by power or the hold of the special interests. I am an independent voice for a healthy Utah."

Bishop said Washington has not changed him, and that he is a former high school teacher who works "to empower people, and not the federal government."

Bishop said his committee roles give him the "position where I can be the greatest benefit to Utah and the 1st District, and being in the right place to protect Hill Air Force Base." He said his work to help bring the F-35 there should help protect it from any future base closures.

But Clemens said he is better able to help Hill by working with a likely Hillary Clinton administration "than somebody who has constantly antagonized the federal government."

Bishop did support bringing some new blood to Washington: Donald Trump. While he denounced Trump's statements on women, Bishop said he would bring a change to President Barack Obama's public lands policies that he says the Democratic presidential nominee would continue. That "would be a clear hindrance to the economic prosperity of this state."

Clemens — who said he has not decided whom to vote for in the presidential race — blasted Bishop's support of the Republican nominee.

"I believe a man who calls women pigs and dogs and who openly advocates sexual assault on women is unfit to be our president," he said. Clemens questioned whether Bishop's continued support of Trump is "making a sacrifice of his principles to party politics."

Clemens also criticized Bishop's Public Lands Initiative, which seeks to end decades of disputes over public lands by defining which areas will be protected and which could be developed.

Clemens called it "a massive oil and land grab" that would benefit oil companies that are heavy donors to Bishop. The incumbent said he worked for years with all stakeholders to reach a compromise supported by groups across the political spectrum.

Clemens said he would support Obama creating a proposed national monument in southern Utah's Bears Ears because Bishop's Public Lands Initiative did not strike proper balances. Bishop said that would be "a disaster" that ignores local preferences.

The doctor said he would support the legalization of medical marijuana, and that he has seen problems from too much dependence on opioids. Bishop said the federal government should not weigh in on that, instead leaving the matter to the states.

Clemens said that would amount to every state needing to form its own version of the Food and Drug Administration, which would be wasteful and duplicative. "The federal government does some things better."

Clemens also said Bishop constantly votes against clean energy bills and questions how much man-made pollution contributes to climate change. "This will affect our snowpack, our water," he said. "We cannot have politicians who are afraid to confront reality and deal with things before they become a problem."

Bishop said members of Congress have "to look at the social consequences and also the social benefits" of proposals to deal with pollution or global warming, "and they have to balance both of those. Any legislation that comes in Washington that ignores one side or the other is bound to be wrong and cause more harm than benefit."

On other issues, Bishop opposed potential changes to gun laws and said no proposals he has seen would have reduced recent gun violence. Clemens favored minor changes, such as universal background checks for all gun buyers.

On immigration, Clemens supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Bishop opposed any such changes until the country can better control its borders.