Katie Witt

Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt, a Republican, announced Aug. 26, 2019, that she'd be running for the U.S. House seat to be vacated by Rep. Rob Bishop, who's not seeking reelection.

KAYSVILLE — Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt has formally announced her bid for northern Utah's U.S. House seat, spurred in part by "the rise in radicals" now serving in Congress, she said in a press release.

"I'm running for Congress because we need to preserve freedom, expand opportunity and reignite American patriotism," she said in a video released Monday to announce her candidacy. "The Democrats have gone all in on a radical socialist agenda — higher taxes, government controls and takeovers, which would bankrupt our country and kill our jobs."

Witt, a Republican, announced July 29 that she was mulling a bid for the 1st District U.S. House seat, soon after Rep. Rob Bishop, the incumbent, announced he definitively wouldn't seek reelection. Now she says she's officially a candidate, joining Morgan County Councilwoman Tina Cannon, also a GOPer, in the race for the post serving Weber County, northern Davis County and eight other northern and northeastern Utah counties.

Bishop, a Republican from Brigham City in his ninth term, is a stalwart conservative and won the seat by wide margins in each of his elections, underscoring the rightward bend of voters in the district.

In her video, Witt warned of the dangers of socialism and her campaign announcement singled out "the rise of radicals" like Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. The three lawmakers — featured in a brief snippet in the Witt video along with Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Democratic presidential hopefuls — have also faced intense criticism from President Donald Trump.

"Socialism is not good for America. I think it totally crushes the human spirit and it always fails, it always fails," Witt said in her video.

Witt's statement said Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Omar "are promoting socialism, religious bigotry and undermining our constitutional rights." Witt, by contrast, "is standing for the freedom available through our Constitution, capitalism and our exceptional American way of life."

Witt's video shows her firing a handgun at a target and expressing support for the 2nd Amendment while talking with a would-be voter. On her website, she calls for a "merit-based immigration system," efforts to counter the "crushing" U.S. national debt, low taxes, an end to "bad regulations" and the expansion of high-speed Internet access.

Witt was elected mayor of Kaysville in 2017 and served a term on the Longmont, Colorado, City Council from 2009-2013. She grew up in Utah and had moved to Colorado with her husband Dan Witt when work took him there.

Many more have been mentioned by political watchers as possible candidates for the 1st District post.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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