Ashdown Launches Second Senate Bid

(KCPW News) Pete Ashdown, founder and CEO of Utah Internet Service Provider XMission announced his second candidacy for the U.S. Senate Friday at the State Capitol, taking on Utah’s senior Senator Orrin Hatch for a second time. Ashdown, who took more than 30 percent of the vote when he challenged Hatch as the Democratic candidate in 2006, says his top priority is tackling the influence of money in government.

“The balance of influence is tilted, weighted and pointed to those who have the cash to buy it,” he said. “The remainder of us are left to email, phone and petition in the hope that somehow our voice will be heard by those whose primary concern from the day they take office is re-election.”

Ashdown says he won’t seek money from political action committees or funnel donor money into his own special interests without public inspection.

He believes he has a greater chance of winning this time around because more people know his name.

“For the most part, this campaign is going to run on a very soft mode for the first six months,” he explained to KCPW. “We obviously have to shore up our support with Democrats, because I’m not expecting that I’m going to walk through the convention easily. But after the convention, we’re going to be keeping our powder dry, keeping our money stored, so when we get to those final few months, we have some reserves to buy some advertising with.”

Ashdown says both sides of the political aisle are concerned about how campaigns are financed because they want their voices heard. He adds that he’s not going to focus on divisive, hot-button issues.