MURRAY—A woman who has worked as an IT specialist and manager and who represents Utah on the Democratic National Committee has announced her candidacy for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, which includes Sanpete County.
Darlene McDonald launched her campaign March 19 at the Murray City Park. She is challenging incumbent Republican Burgess Meredith. January Walker of Lehi is also seeking the seat on the Utah United Party ticket.
When Owens was elected in 2020, the 4th District included North Sanpete south to Pigeon Hollow Junction. Ephraim, Manti and the Gunnison Valley were in the 2nd Congressional District, with Chris Stewart as their representative. With redistricting, the whole county is now in the 4th District.
“I’m running for Congress because I’m tired of seeing endless distractions while our country faces serious and very real problems that are being ignored,” she says. “Issues like the supply chain, crumbling infrastructure and national debt must urgently be addressed.”
“We need a representative who is going to take the job seriously,” McDonald continued. “We need someone who is going to work across the aisle on issues such as the economy, rising inflation and rising gas prices.”
“It does not help any of us if we use ‘crisis’ as a political football. These are kitchen-table issues, and we need a representative that is going to help solve problems.”
McDonald, a mother and grandmother who lives in Salt Lake County, says she wants to ensure that future generations have a path to education, employment and home ownership. Other issues that are important to her are the cost of healthcare and rural issues.
She said the of healthcare is top of mind for many people experiencing long-haul COVID. Another COVID-19 related issue is that while the pandemic was at its peak, the United States lost more mothers during childbirth than any other country, especially mothers of color.
“It really hit hard for African American women and our Hispanic sisters, as well. We must do something about that, and we must have a representative who is present for people, and especially for our mothers.”
McDonald moved to Utah about 20 years ago with her family. She was born and raised in Cincinnati, and her parents were from a small town in Alabama called Woodward.
“If you look it up on a map, you won’t find it. It doesn’t exist anymore,” she says. “The last time I visited Woodward, Alabama was last year, and many of the streets were grown over with weeds and trees—it was just gone.”
When industries leave a rural community, it is often left barren, she says. “You lose people to the urban areas and bigger cities because there are no jobs locally anymore.”
Preserving democracy is also a big focus of McDonald’s campaign.
“I stand with Ukraine. What is happening in Ukraine means that we must stand for democracy,” McDonald emphasizes. “It shouldn’t matter who is sitting in the White House as to whether we will do the right thing and stand up and protect our democracy.”