Jenny Wilson Declares Candidacy for U.S. Senate

July 17, 2017

Jenny Wilson Declares Candidacy for U.S. Senate
Fifth-Generation Utahn and Salt Lake County Council Member Promises Strong Challenge to 7-Term Senator

SALT LAKE CITY – Today, Salt Lake County Council member Jenny Wilson officially announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, declaring that she will take on Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2018.

“Over the past few months, I have been overwhelmed by the encouragement to run by Utahns who are desperate for change in Washington. They are tired of the bickering and recognize the bipartisan successes I have had working locally. While in exploratory status, 727 people even demonstrated their support through financial contributions, totaling $139,328. I am honored by their support and I am honored to officially announce my candidacy today,” said Wilson. “Utahns want a Senator who works for them, who listens to them and who gets things done. But after 40 years of Orrin Hatch, Washington is broken. Orrin Hatch is a decent man, but he’s part of the problem in Washington and he has forgotten who sent him there.”

A fifth-generation Utahn, Jenny Wilson is serving her second six-year term on the Salt Lake County Council. In 2005, she became the first woman elected to the Council, where she has led numerous policy initiatives, including ethics reform, government efficiency, criminal justice reform and open space preservation. She was a co-founder of the Jordan River Commission.

Hatch has been in the U.S. Senate for 40 years, longer than any other Republican Senator. A poll this year taken by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics showed 8 in 10 Utahns want Hatch to retire.

“While Orrin Hatch has been fueling partisanship in Washington,” Wilson said, “I’ve been working on the ground, across party lines to find common sense, bipartisan solutions to issues important to Utahns. In Salt Lake County, we’ve balanced our budgets, created jobs, protected our environment and confronted our opioid crisis – all with little help from Washington.

“I look forward to meeting Utahns in all 29 counties and doing something Orrin Hatch has not done in a long time: listening to the concerns of Utahns and making sure their voices are heard loud and clear.” A formal announcement event will be held in late August.

Wilson has experience at all levels of government, having served as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-OR) and as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Orton (D-UT), a Blue Dog Democrat. She also served as an aide to the Utah state legislature and was a candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor in 2007.

In addition to her service in government, Wilson has broad experience working in the private and nonprofit sectors, serving in key positions for the Sundance Institute and Film Festival, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center. She has served on numerous boards of trustees and community positions. Most recently, Wilson directed and produced a documentary film, THE GRAND RESCUE, which aired on PBS stations throughout the United States. It is the story of a 1967 rescue on the north face of the Grand Teton, in which her father, Ted Wilson, was one of the park service rescuers.

One of five children, Jenny is the daughter of former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson and Kathy Wilson, an artist and small business owner. She is a graduate of East High School in Salt Lake City and the University of Utah, and received a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Wilson and her husband have two sons.