Democrat Jenny Wilson is quick to tout her extensive experience in government as the biggest asset in her campaign for U.S. Senate.
“I think I get this state,” she says. “I know the policy needs. I understand the federal government. I’ve worked for every branch of government. I’m well equipped with an understanding of Utah, and I’m delivering.”
Wilson, currently a member of the Salt Lake County Council, says the 2018 midterm elections presents Utahns an opportunity to make a big change in Washington.
“This election is about how the federal government can deliver for the people in this state. I think I bring a unique voice to this process and can say our current delegation needs to wake up because they’re focusing on the wrong things,” she says.
What are those wrong things? Wilson slams Utah’s members of Congress for wasting time trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act instead of finding a way to improve the system.
“If Orrin Hatch and the other Utah Republicans had prevailed, we would have had hundreds, if not thousands of people who would have lost their health insurance. It was horrible to think that they would do that instead of trying to fix it. We need to find a better way to drive down costs and stabilize markets,” says Wilson.
Wilson also says Congress is too polarized with neither side able or willing to talk to the other. Naturally, she says her experience on the County Council would translate well to Washington.
“Bipartisan cooperation is not happening at the levels we need it to. The first thing I would do if elected is reach out to Mike Lee and the other Republicans in the delegation to see how we could work together. As a Democrat, I would be able to have an impact for our state because I could work with other Democrats on behalf of Utah.”
Wilson also says a lack of diversity and too much money has resulted in a broken political system, which leads to bad policy.
“More women in office and more diverse representation is important. It’s not just Democrats who need to step in and make that happen. Those people come from both sides of the aisle,” says Wilson.
While the shadow of Donald Trump will loom large over this election, Wilson says Utahns are not talking much about the president, especially in rural areas of the state.
“What I hear is rural Utah needs infrastructure and jobs. They need someone to give a damn about their needs in these communities,” she says. “There’s a need for jobs and the federal government absolutely has a role to play in all of this.”