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Democrat Jenny Wilson wants to break stalemate in Washington

 

By James Tilson

Staff writer

10-4-2018

 

Jenny Wilson, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, spoke at the Snow College Convocation last Thursday, Sept. 27. She is running against Republican Mitt Romney for the seat being vacated by Sen. Orrin Hatch.

EPHRAIM—Mitt Romney’s Democratic opponent came to Snow College last week to explain her campaign positions and drum up support in rural Utah.

Speaking at the Snow College Convocation on Thursday, Sept. 27, Democratic nominee Jenny Wilson, started out by telling the crowd why she decided to run for the U.S. Senate.

She pointed to her experience as a member of the Salt Lake County Council and her ability to work with Republican colleagues to show she would be able to help break the stalemate that currently weighs down Washington, D.C.

Wilson said she would be a strong advocate for rural Utah. She pointed to her long-running support for Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), which go to local governments, especially in the West, to make up for the fact that the federal government doesn’t pay property taxes on public lands in those jurisdictions.

She told the crowd President Trump’s initial budget had zeroed out the PILT funds, and she had been part of the effort to get the funds back in the budget.

She also promised, if elected, to visit every county in Utah in 2019 to connect with rural Utahns and stay informed on their issues.

On the campaign trail, she said she had already learned that rural Utah needs more career opportunities to enable young Utahns to stay in their hometowns. She offered several solutions for the problem.

Wilson said Utah should invest in technology in rural areas, especially access to high-speed broadband Internet. She said public lands are “critical” to Utah’s identity and should be protected from exploitation.

Students should receive more protection from predatory lending practices, she said. And housing costs, which have been skyrocketing in recent years, should be better managed.

And finally, Wilson told the audience Washington needed a new generation of leaders, people who have dealt with the problems currently facing society and who are “embedded in the community.”

Wilson then paused, and seemed to collect herself. Seemingly on the verge of tears, Wilson told the crowd she wanted to talk about something that was “on her mind.”

She referred again to how Washington was so much more divided than it used to be and how the divisions were harming the ability to govern our country.

Then she added, “sexual assault is a reality,” even in Utah. She cited Utah Health Department statistics showing one in three Utah women will face sexual assault in their lifetimes and one in nine will be raped.

“Sexual assaults happen in homes, dorms and at work. It doesn’t only happen in dark alleys,” she said.

Referring to the Republicans on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee who were debating Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, she said, “So many Republicans don’t have that experience.”

Wilson described watching the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and said, “I find