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Candidate Conversation: Jenny Wilson for Senate

Editor’s Note: This is the second of a 12-episode series of Candidate Conversations with the Voices of Reason Podcast in which hosts Amy Donaldson and Jasen Lee talk with Utah candidates running for federal office. The podcasts offer unique depth into the candidates’ priorities, backgrounds and reasons for running to represent the citizens of Utah. This is an effort to help voters learn more about those running for office and their positions on critical local and national issues.

SALT LAKE CITY — If Jenny Wilson has learned anything from her time as a Salt Lake County Council member, it’s that a balanced political system is more inclusive and more effective than one dominated by a single party or ideology.

“I have felt for some time that we need more balance in government,” she said. “I have great Republican colleagues, I work with them. We work across party lines on the Salt Lake County Council. But we don’t have enough Democrats in the legislature. I think we’re missing that balance.”

Wilson discussed her Utah roots, her political mentors, and why she decided to run for the U.S. Senate in the seat being vacated by Orin Hatch in a special series of podcasts with Voices of Reason.

In the episode, the fifth-generation Utahn and mother of two teenage boys talks about how that imbalance actually hurts Utah when it comes to national issues, and why compromise and cooperation are far better strategies than one party dominating the other.

She points to the successes of the Salt Lake County Council as an example of how putting problem-solving before political party victories has benefited citizens.

“We have that really great balance and we’re able to, we’re actually forced to work together and we don’t think about party first,” she said. “I think we need that in Congress.”

Wilson believes not having Democrats in the Utah delegation hurts Utah on critical issues, especially public lands.

When President Donald Trump’s budget cut payments to counties with public lands, they had to rely on a Democrat from Oregon to lead the effort to get those payments increased.

“I think it’s critical for Utah to have a Democrat back in the delegation,” Wilson said.

She believes this election will bring an influx of people willing to get back to solving problems, rather than fighting about party politics.

“I think we’re going to see some changes in this Congress,” she said. “So I hope we’re not so divided…that we can rally together. That’s my hope.”

Wilson discussed a number of other important national and local issues in the podcast, including gerrymandering and the dangers of concentrated political power.

“I don’t think elected officials should choose their people,” she said. “People should choose their elected officials. And that’s the problem.”

To hear the full interview with Wilson and other candidates running for congressional office in Utah, subscribe to the Voices of Reason podcast wherever you find interesting podcasts.