Former Army Officer and West Point graduate Donna McAleer announced her plan to run for Congress against Republican Rob Bishop on Friday, while attending a Salt Lake City protest of the government shutdown.
McAleer is one of two Democrats, including Ogden’s Peter Clemens, who have announced their candidacy for Utah’s First Congressional District. McAleer ran in last year’s election and was defeated by Bishop, who took 72 percent of the district’s votes.
McAleer said the government shutdown is hurting Utah families through no fault of their own.
“I think the government shutdown is a reckless attack on people’s lives and livelihoods all because congress — our elected official officials — cannot get their act together and actually focus on the mission of truly running the government and keeping it open,” McAleer said.
McAleer said it’s the current Utah delegation who’s leading the charge in the government shutdown. She said that if she were in Washington right now, she would be working on making a budget.
“Let’s start going down line-item by line-item and developing a budget that this country can live within,” McAleer said.
Matt Lyon of the Utah Democratic Party Headquarters says Mitt Romney’s involvement in the 2012 election brought out many first time Republican voters who voted straight-ticket. Lyon doubts this support will happen again in 2014.
McAleer says she hopes the current problems in Washington will bring out voters who want to see a change.
“We as individual voters have to take responsibility for who we vote for and we need to get out there and vote for people who are going to get things done; who are not just going to make ideological promises,” McAleer said.
Bishop was first elected into the House of Representatives in 2002.