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Charlene Albarran, Rep. Chris Stewart File for Utah's 2nd Congressional District

Nicole Nixon

Democrat Charlene Albarran has officially filed for candidacy to run for Congress in Utah’s Second District. As a resident of Park City, Charlene Albarran doesn’t actually live in the district she's hoping to represent.

Utah’s second district includes Salt Lake City and Tooele, stretching all the way to St. George in southern Utah. Albarran is running as a democrat, but says she represents the thinking of average Utahns.

“I’m standing up for my family, I’m standing up for my neighbors and I’m standing up for the people of Utah from every sector that does not have proper representation,” she told reporters at her campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City.

Albarran says she particularly wants to give a voice to minority groups such as Hispanic, Asian and LGBT Utahns.

She also supports affordable health care and higher education as well as raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

The Park City businesswoman says she wants to run a civil campaign against incumbent Chris Stewart.

“I don’t believe in negative campaigning,” she says. I don’t believe that I have to put someone else down to put myself up. However, we do differ on policy.”

One of those differences, she says, is acknowledgment of climate change. Congressman Stewart has expressed skepticism about the threat of global warming in the past. In 2013 he published an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune questioning whether recent droughts, wildfires and severe storms are the result of a changing climate.

Albarran grew up in Idaho and received a bachelor’s degree from Boise State University in math and statistics. She and her husband have spent several years living in Mexico City, where she ran a homeless shelter. She has also run a home for victims of domestic violence and homeless women in Salt Lake City.

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