The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon)
Divorced, 6 children
B.S. in Biology and Chemistry, University of Miami
KEY HEALTH LINK
Owens is a prostate cancer survivor. He was also a part of a class action court case against the NFL for failing to protect them from head injury, stating he suffered “repeated and chronic” blows to the head that have put him at an “increased risk of latent brain disease” and led to memory loss and impulse control problems.
Never held elected office
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Owens’ received the most votes in the Republican primary for Utah’s 4th Congressional District and faced incumbent Democrat Ben McAdams in the general election.
Ben McAdams (D), defeated in re-election bid
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
Founder & CEO, Second Chance 4 Youth
Burgess played safety for ten seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders. He was a member of the Raiders when they won the 1980 Super Bowl. Owens is the founder of Second Chance 4 Youth, a nonprofit that works with troubled and incarcerated youth, and has written books on his political views such as “Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps” and “Why I Stand: From Freedom to the Killing Fields of Socialism.” Owens’ first run for public office was to represent Utah’s 4th Congressional District in the 2020 election.
On The Issues
Owens does not support a mask mandate. When asked his three top issues, he listed COVID-19 recovery first, saying, "Of course, the pandemic is affecting us all in many ways, physically, mentally and financially. We need to make sure we are keeping Americans safe, but also giving business the opportunities to adapt. We also need to make sure we’re raising awareness for mental health during times like this."
Owens has stated that, "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was no exception. It was neither about being affordable or about health care when it was implemented," adding that, "Obamacare no longer needs to be repealed, but changes are necessary in the current health care plan. Instead of the old top-down approach to health care, we need to open up the system to innovation and competition. We do this in three ways: decrease cost, give more choice, and provide better care. By creating more transparency, our country’s health care system will be more patient-centered and less controlled by bureaucrats." Owens has stated his support for protections granted to those with pre-existing conditions.
Owens has received a B+ rating from NORML, indicating their belief that he "supports policies specific to the legalization of medical cannabis and/or support to give states greater autonomy in setting their own policies but [has] not cosponsored legislation to end marijuana prohibition."
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
Owens has listed both suicide prevention and opioid recovery on his list of priorities. On his website, he stated that, "We have got to put an end to [the suicide] epidemic. We are losing our country’s most valuable resource—indeed, we are losing our future. I believe this can be, at least in part, attributed to the devaluation of life and continual push to erase God and self worth from the lives of our children. When people don’t have a purpose, they lose their reason to live. We must return to the [Judeo-Christian] values that built this country and help our citizenry have hope in the future once again." During Mental Health Awareness Month, he tweeted, "Let's work to break the stigma surrounding mental health struggles. Seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. Be sure to check in on your friends and neighbors who might be struggling, too."
On opioid addiciton, he said, "It’s time to re-educate our loved ones and our kids about these dangers, because obviously, what has been done in the past no longer is effective. I support President Trump's initiative to tackle the opioid crisis facing our country."
Owens supports allowing Americans to import pharmaceuticals from Canada, as well as "President Trump’s right to try and prescription drug initiatives."
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
Owens is pro-life. He has stated, "The right to life is fundamental and given to us by God. All of God’s children are endowed with inalienable rights which include life."
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
When discussing his support for importing drugs from other countries, he used an example of insulin on his website.
DID YOU KNOW?
Owens is an accomplished American football player, earning All-American honors in 1972 as a member of the University of Miami Hurricanes football team. Owens played as a safety for the New York Jets in the 1970s and was a member of the Oakland Raiders’ Superbowl XV winning team. His performance earned him a spot in the 1981 Pro Bowl.