Guest opinion: Affecting change in the US Senate
The Preamble to the Constitution references our founders’ purposes in forming a more perfect Union: establishing justice, insuring domestic tranquility, providing for common defense, promoting the general welfare, and securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. A more perfect union is only brought about through change. (After all, the phrase “more perfect” implies we can get better.)
Ally Isom is precisely the change that Utah and the U.S. Senate need.
The Utah Republican Party Platform states, “We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption.” It is time for a Republican renaissance through which we demand more of our public officials. To some, demanding more integrity is the priority; to others, demanding more accountability is most urgent. For me, I expect both.
After vetting U.S. Senate candidates and participating in the Utah Republican Nominating Convention as a state delegate, I want to share my perspectives as an educated and engaged citizen, patriotic military kid and optimistic change agent. I have no ill-will against any Utah candidate for U.S. Senate; my comments are not intended to divide or manipulate, and instead, they simply communicate the lens through which I view the world. If this leads others to investigate all candidates more closely, I have done what I aspired to: engage our community.
7 Reasons I Support Ally Isom for U.S. Senate
Ally Isom represents the Utah Republican Party Platform and my own non-negotiables. As I have encountered Isom in overlapping areas of business and community over the last several years, I quickly discovered her to be a person of honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability.
Ally Isom is an intelligent and wise leader. If you have not had a conversation with Ally Isom, you’re missing out. I have found her to be one of the smartest people in the room — impressive since she is often in the room with many smart people! I’ve seen her contemplate complex issues, consider feedback, and articulate her positions with authority, wisdom, and confidence. Likewise, she takes time to learn, showing the humility reserved for some of my favorite leaders.
Ally Isom is a connector, a collaborator and a communicator. Her business, government, and community roles have united diverse constituents to resolve challenges and achieve meaningful outcomes with civility and genuine interest. Her statewide Walk-a-Mile listening tour that traversed 120+ Utah communities is evidence of her commitment to connect and understand all Utahns.
Ally Isom is brave and tenacious. Running for public office is not for a shrinking violet; I’ve done it twice. It demands courage and persistence, especially challenging an incumbent. Her drive comes from her passion for serving and her well-earned reputation for getting things done in the face of adversity, both personal and professional.
Ally Isom is the most viable conservative challenger. In a state where the supermajority identifies as conservative and supports conservative candidates like Isom, Becky Edwards is far less likely to garner enough support to unseat an incumbent. She voted for President Biden, a controversial issue among conservatives, and as a Utah legislator, she voted significantly less conservative than her legislative counterparts (see analysis by Adam Brown, BYU Professor of Political Science). Likewise, independent candidates who carry the endorsement of Utah’s Democratic Party are also unlikely to convince a conservative supermajority.
Republicans want term limits, and Ally Isom made a firm commitment. The GOP has long touted supporting term limits. With the incumbent’s violation of his commitment to term limits, now is the perfect time to embrace a similarly conservative, yet innovative candidate as a national change-agent.
Ally Isom is well-qualified and experienced. A leader in public policy and Gov. Herbert’s office, a leader in community and non-profit sectors, and a leader in business and technology, Ally Isom has the best qualifications and real-world, practical experience downstream from congressional or legislative actions. With her most recent professional role in technology, biotechnology and energy, she understands the importance of eliminating red tape to make room for innovation and investment.
Even before the recent Mark Meadows/Mike Lee texting controversy, in February, the Deseret News revealed the incumbent held only a 42% approval rating (and recently, 30% of state delegates voted against the incumbent at the State Republican Nominating Convention). Additionally, the Utah Democratic Party selected an independent candidate over their own Democratic nomination. Utah citizens have been clear; now is the time for change.
We will soon cast our individual votes in the June 28 Republican primary. All three candidates gathered signatures – at a great effort and expense – ensuring we each have a choice. I encourage Republicans to thoroughly vet each candidate and participate in the democratic process by casting their vote in the June primary and November general elections. Together, we will become a more perfect Union.
Jessica Egbert, Ph.D., is the founder of Limelight Leadership and the co-founder of Elected Women of Utah. She sits on the city council in Mapleton, where her family resides. Opinions expressed by Jessica are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mapleton City or other boards on which she serves.