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Jenny Wilson, Salt Lake County Council Member, Announces Exploratory Bid for U.S. Senate

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Today, Salt Lake County Council Member Jenny Wilson filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission, launching an exploratory committee (Wilson for Senate Exploratory Committee) for the 2018 U.S. Senate race.

"As a fifth generation Utahn working here in the state, I know that the people of Utah want Congress to get back to the days of commonsense, bipartisan problem solving. Utahns are hungry for a change. They want something different — different than Hatch and different than business as usual in DC. They want a Senator who will listen to them and make sure their voice is heard loud and clear in Washington. I am confident that based on my record, my Utah roots and my vision for new leadership, I can be the Senator that Utahns deserve.

Because a U.S. Senate race is a major undertaking, I will use the coming months to gauge support for my candidacy. Already, I have been overwhelmed by the encouragement I have received in every corner of Utah, and I know that the race will be competitive if I run. While I have not yet made a decision, one thing is certain: this Senate seat belongs to the people of Utah -- and they alone should decide who occupies it."

In addition to serving in her second six-year term on the Salt Lake County Council (2005-2010 & 2015-present), Wilson spent much of the 1990s working for Congress, serving as Communication Director and then as Chief of Staff to former Rep. Bill Orton (D-UT). Wilson is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Utah Association of Counties where she has served as a leader in collaborating with both urban and rural elected officials throughout the state to solve problems such as public lands protection and management, as well as addressing the need for additional funding for mental health and substance abuse.

The U.S. Senate seat is currently occupied by Orrin Hatch, who has been in Washington for more than 40 years and who may or may not seek re-election. He recently faced criticism after suggesting that he might hand over the seat to Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, Jr., a move that Wilson called out as "boys' club elitism."