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Politics & Government

Utah Sen. Mike Lee Has Another Republican Challenger: Former Herbert Staffer Ally Isom

A photo of Ally Isom talking to a black man and blonde-haired girl.
Ally Isom's Campaign Website
“Public dialogue is often more about personalities than ideas, more about division than solutions,” Isom said. “We can do better.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, has a second major Republican challenger. Ally Isom announced her run for Senate Thursday calling herself a “sensible, mainstream Republican.”

Isom was the deputy chief of staff for former Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and a former spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Our nation is at a critical crossroads,” Isom said in a statement. “It’s time to return to the fundamental conservative principles we share — responsibility for our shared future, fiscal discipline, limited government, valuing life and respecting others.”

Isom said her experience in business as an executive for a Utah nanotech company, plus her time working in politics and state government agencies makes her able to solve complex problems.

She left the Republican Party the day after former President Donald Trump won the 2016 election but has since rejoined. At the time, the Salt Lake Tribune reported she wrote on Facebook, “You reject that about which I care most — sound policy, principled leadership, fiscal responsibility, respectful dialogue and mutual respect, not to mention women, culture and faith.”

Isom didn’t mention Trump by name in the post but made it clear his election contributed to her decision.

Lee’s other challenger, former state Rep. Becky Edwards, has also criticized Trump. She was part of a group called Women of Faith Speak Up and Speak Out that urged members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to not vote for a second Trump term.

Lee has faced criticism for his support of former President Donald Trump, including comparing him to the Book of Mormon military commander Captain Moroni during a campaign rally last year.

Another Republican challenger — Brendan Wright from Utah County — announced in June he was dropping out of the race and endorsing Edwards.

Lee has served as Utah’s senator since 2011. His re-election campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has been relatively silent about his GOP challengers, but told KUTV in May “There’s nothing inherently concerning about the idea that someone else would want to run for a job when it comes open."

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