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Phippen, director of Freedom Front and former Mike Lee staffer, announces Senate run

By Carlene Coombs - | Nov 2, 2023
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Carolyn Phippen announced her run for U.S. Senate at Draper Historic Park on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.
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Carolyn Phippen announces her run for U.S. Senate at Draper Historic Park on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.
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Supporters watch Carolyn Phippen give a speech announcing her run for U.S. Senate at Draper Historic Park on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

Carolyn Phippen, political activist and director of Freedom Front, announced Wednesday she was joining the U.S. Senate race to replace Sen. Mitt Romney.

Phippen made the announcement Wednesday afternoon in Draper, where she and her family live, in front of a crowd of a few dozen people.

“If we want to see change, we must begin to elect a new kind of leader,” she said during her announcement speech. “Those who aren’t afraid to put an end to the irresponsible spending, fight to secure our open borders, and give our military and law enforcement officers the support they need.”

In the Senate race, she’ll face Utah State House Speaker Brad Wilson, who appears to have the support of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox as well as dozens of current members of the Utah Legislature, in the primary next year.

The national debt, the U.S-Mexico border, public lands, national security and reducing the reach of government were some of the priorities Phippen mentioned when making her announcement.

When taking questions from reporters after her speech, Phippen said the fact that she isn’t a politician is what sets her apart from other candidates, like Wilson.

“The way that I do things, the way that I see things and the deep level of understanding that I have on the issues is an advantage and something that will set me apart and present me as a unique candidate in this race,” she said.

As someone who grew up in New York as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Phippen touted her experience standing up for what she believes in, a skill she said she can bring to politics.

“I grew up a Mormon in New York,” she said. “I know how to stand up against forces that don’t necessarily agree with me.”

Phippen explained she looks at policy through a “freedom perspective” and said that perspective is what sets her apart from other candidates and allows her to work with those she may disagree with.

Phippen ran for Utah House District 46 last year, challenging incumbent Rep. Jeff Stenquist in the Republican primary. She received the majority delegate vote at the state GOP convention but lost to Stenquist during the general primary, according to KUTV.

Currently, Phippen is the executive director for Freedom Front, a conservative nonprofit and political advocacy group based in Lehi, and has been in that position for over two years, according to her LinkedIn profile. On the organization’s website, Phippen has published articles against ESG — short for “environmental, social and governance” — business and investing practices as well as affirmative action in higher education and posts supporting further tax reductions in Utah.

Phippen said she will be resigning her position as director of Freedom Front and has informed the organization’s board to begin searching for her replacement.

During her announcement speech, she said she has worked for U.S. Sen. Mike Lee as well as the Utah House majority and former House Speaker Greg Hughes. She also has a degree in political science from the University of Utah.

Other candidates in the race are Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird, political commentator Tyrone Jensen and accountant Josh Randall.


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