OGDEN — A Democrat has filed to run for the 1st District U.S. House seat, aiming in part to send a message that there are progressive-minded people in the GOP-dominated state.
The country, said Jamie Cheek, a state employee who lives in Ogden, is at a “unique point in time” with the looming U.S. presidential race and referendum on President Donald Trump‘s leadership, in addition to her U.S. House contest. In making her first bid for office, which she announced Monday, she wants to sound a message that Utah isn’t a safe haven for Republicans, that there are progressive and liberal-minded people here as well.
“We now find ourselves at a fork in the road where each of us must decide which side of history we are going to be on when the dust settles on 2020. The greatness of America is in living up to its potential as a free, just and inclusive society. We must join together to reject the politics of fear and hate that characterize the status quo,” she said in a message on her website.
She’s the first Democrat to file with the Federal Election Commission to run for the spot, joining two Republicans, Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt and Morgan County Councilwoman Tina Cannon. Cory Green, a trucker, consultant and military veteran from Syracuse, also says he’s running for the Northern Utah post as a Republican and several other GOPers say they are seriously considering bids.
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Republican from Brigham City, is finishing his ninth term in the 1st District post and won’t be seeking reelection, which has prompted potential interest from many would-be replacements. The district, which includes Weber County and northern Davis County, is a Republican stronghold and the three GOPers running have sounded messages seemingly aimed at the red base.
Witt lamented the “rise of radicals” in Congress in her bid, Cannon played off Trump’s “make America great” slogan in her announcement, calling for a candidate who “stands for the values that made America great and will keep America great.” Green, meantime, has expressed unabashed support for Trump.
Cheek, by contrast, sounds a progressive message, singling out health care, wages, student debt and more as top issues. She works for the Utah Department of Workforce Services in Box Elder and Cache counties, serving as district director of the office of rehabilitation. She had to get a determination that her bid didn’t violate the Hatch Act and did so.
“As your representative, I will advocate for your access to healthcare and a living wage; I will work hard to preserve your right to fair elections and a sustainable future; and I will fight to lift the burdens of student loan debt and rising tuition rates that impede social mobility and economic opportunity for all,” she said on her website.