Who is Chris Peterson?
Chris Peterson was a candidate for Governor of Utah on the November 3, 2020 elections. He is a law professor and 5th generation Utahn. Peterson was born and raised in West Valley City by a disabled, single parent. He graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree and later earned his JD in 2001 from the S.J. Quinney College of Law. Upon his graduation from S.J. Quinney College of Law, Chris Peterson worked at the U.S. Court of Appeals as a clerk for the 10th Circuit. He later relocated to Washington DC to pursue a career as a consumer rights attorney for a Capital Hill non-profit firm. Soon after, Peterson launched his career at the University of Florida as a law professor. During this time, Peterson published several scholarly articles and an award-winning book. He then returned to the University of Utah to teach law specializing in commercial law, consumer protection, and contracts law courses.
Peterson is a renowned expert on consumer finance and has often testified in congressional hearings. He has also presented his research to the white house in both Republican and Democratic administrations, as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Peterson is a Regent of the American College of Consumer Financial Services Lawyers and a fellow of the Consumer Financial Services Committee of the American Bar Association.
Following the financial crisis of ‘08, Peterson helped launch a federal agency — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — committed to ensuring that financial businesses and banks are fair to customers. His team halted illegal operations by debt collectors, Wall Street banks, and payday lenders, returning close to twelve billion in restitution to American workers. Chris Peterson also served in the Department of Defence where he was instrumental in the Pentagon’s efforts to stop predatory lending activities to military families.
Chris Peterson was a special advisor at the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Obama’s administration from 2012 to 2016. He also served as a special advisor in the Office of Legal Policy for Readiness and Personnel and was senior counsel for Enforcement Strategy and Policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Peterson criticized Governor Gary Herbert’s response, calling upon him and other state officials to have the political courage to impose restrictive health precautions among them a statewide mask mandate.
Peterson’s Gubernatorial Race
After Governor Gary Herbert announced his retirement (and went to work at AR Resources), Chris Peterson entered the race to replace him. His experience in government (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Defence) and law made him a formidable candidate for Governor of Utah. Some of Peterson’s priorities included education and the economy, as well as rural development and healthcare.
His Republican opponent, Cox, had significant experience in state politics having served as lieutenant governor, state representative, mayor, and city councilor. He focused his campaign on issues such as education and the economy while promoting protections of state government power and Second Amendment rights.
The Utah gubernatorial race of 2020, was unlike many others unfolding in America, as Peterson and Cox partnered in joint ads calling for the civility of politics. During the race, Cox managed to raise more than $3 million while Peterson raised around $125000.