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Park City Democrat launches bid for Congress but concedes chances of winning are ‘small’

By Jay Hamburger - Park Record | Mar 9, 2022

Park Record file photo

Summit County Councilmember Glenn Wright poses for a photo after an interview with the Park Record on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018.

Glenn Wright, a retiring member of the Summit County Council and long a leading figure in the county Democratic Party, has launched a congressional bid in the overwhelmingly Republican district that includes Park City.

Wright is one of two Democrats seeking the party’s nomination in the 3rd Congressional District. The other is Archie Williams III from Orem. Republican John Curtis currently holds the seat and is vying with other members of the GOP for the party’s nomination. The election in November will be the first since Park City was shifted into the 3rd Congressional District when state legislators redrew the district boundaries after the census of 2020.

Wright is a stalwart of the Summit County Democratic Party. He was the chair for eight years ending in 2017 and was the Democratic candidate in state House of Representatives contests twice, in 2010 and 2014. He is serving his second term on the County Council.

Wright, 73 and a Prospector resident, acknowledged in an interview the campaign in the 3rd Congressional District will be tough for a Democrat. He has a “small” chance of winning the congressional seat, he conceded.

“It’s a difficult race. It’s a gerrymandered district,” Wright said, indicating the state Democratic Party wanted him to mount a campaign.

Park City has long been one of Utah’s most reliable Democratic strongholds, leading to party majorities on the County Council for years. The influence of Park City-area voters in a congressional campaign, though, is diluted as elections are instead decided in more populous places. Wright would need to secure significant support elsewhere in the district to have a chance in a general election. The 3rd Congressional District covers a large tract of the state stretching to the border with Colorado in the east and the Four Corners in the southeast.

“I don’t have any high hope I will actually be a congressman,” Wright said.

Wright, a veteran of the Vietnam War, addressed the conflict in Ukraine, saying it is a “very difficult situation.” He said he could not outline his preferred course of action without the intelligence briefings given to members of Congress.

He said a U.S.-enforced no-fly zone would require moving significant U.S. Air Force resources to Europe. Wright said a no-fly zone could be an escalation of the conflict and lead to American losses.

Wright said a key campaign issue will involve the related topics of climate change and renewable energies. He said there is now a heavy presence of the fossil-fuel industry in the congressional district.

Over the next decade, though, renewable energies will become more prominent, he predicted, saying the demand for oil and gas will drop during the period. Plans are needed to boost the communities where fossil fuels are critical to the local economies. Wright said, as an example, an alternative could involve a biofuel industry in the Uinta Basin.

Wright is attempting to become the first major-party congressional nominee from the Park City area since Donna McAleer carried the Democratic banner in the 1st Congressional District in consecutive elections, in 2012 and 2014. The Republican incumbent, Rep. Rob Bishop, routed her in both of the contests in another district that is heavily tilted toward the GOP.


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