Wilson: Utahns are ready for new leadership in Washington

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson says she’s running in 2018 because she thinks Utah is ready for new leadership in the Senate.

Wilson is challenging for Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat next year. She says whether or not Hatch runs again; she’s ready for the challenge. She also says Hatch should honor his pledge made in 2012 to not run for another term in 2018.

“I appreciate the years of service by Sen. Orrin Hatch, but I feel now it’s time for him to live up to his earlier commitment and move on,” says Wilson. “I think there’s an opening with the climate in DC and the food fighting that’s going on, the lack of cooperation is leaving an opening for someone like me who works across party lines locally and gets things done locally, all of that added together made it feel like it was a good year to step in and go for it.”

Wilson made her comments on the “Beg to Differ” podcast, hosted by UtahPolicy.com Managing Editor Bryan Schott and Republican State Rep. Mike Winder.

Hatch hasn’t yet announced whether he’s running or not for a seventh term next year. Most recently he said he would likely run unless his or his wife’s health takes a turn for the worse. However, several sources tell UtahPolicy.com that Hatch is likely to announce his retirement later this summer or early fall.

Wilson has an uphill battle ahead of her if she wins the Democratic nomination next year. It’s been more than 20 years since a Democrat has won a statewide race in Utah. 

“I think I’m the type of Democrat that appeals across party lines and appeals to independents. I work with Republicans. I think in this climate when people are saying enough is enough, and we want bi-partisanship, I represent that,” she said.

Right now the prevailing narrative among the Democratic party faithful is a desire to push back against Donald Trump’s White House, dubbed “The Resistance.” Wilson understands that sentiment, but she doesn’t consider herself part of that movement.

“I’m not a fan of this president, which is no surprise. But, I think his administration, if we can get beyond Russia, may have some proposals and things moving forward,” says Wilson. “Initially, he came in talking about an infrastructure bill. That would be interesting to see. I’d like to get to the point where the media is talking about something more than the scandals facing this administration. I think that’s going to require the cooperation of the president. Let’s get beyond that. Let’s let the investigators move forward and move on to governance.”