(KCPW News) Salt Lake City Council Chair Soren Simonsen is setting his sights on higher office, filing to run as a Democrat against Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz in District 3. Simonsen says he’s been contemplating the bid for a couple of years, as the possibility of Utah gaining a fourth district became apparent. He says he’s most interested in giving local governments more representation on the national level.
“There are a lot of things that are not working in how resources, particularly in transportation and wilderness protection issues to address air quality and so many of those programs that help with social services at the local level, just don’t have strong voices trying to work and find solutions at the federal level,” he says.
Simonsen says he wasn’t interested in running for a seat in the GOP-dominated state legislature.
He notes there is more of a balance on the federal level between the two parties.
“Given a lot of the success that I’ve had working as a facilitator and a collaborator locally, I think that leadership can be worthwhile representing Utah at the federal level. The cooperation that I’m interested in working towards middle ground as opposed to polarizing, I think would be very productive,” says Simonsen.
Simonsen says he’s well known in a large area of District 3 through his professional work as an architect and city planner, as well as his work on the Salt Lake City Council. He was first elected to the council in 2005. Besides Congressman Chaffetz, two Republicans and one other Democrat are running in District 3.