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Becky Edwards launches PAC aimed at leaving ‘partisan finger-pointing behind’

Former state lawmaker Becky Edwards speaks during an election night watch party Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Three Republicans competed in a special primary election in Utah for their party's nomination to replace U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart. Vying for the nomination are Edwards, businessman and former state party chairman Bruce Hough, and Celeste Maloy, an attorney and former aide to Stewart in Washington.
Rick Bowmer
Former state lawmaker Becky Edwards speaks during a primary election night watch party, Sept. 5, 2023, in Salt Lake City.

Former Utah lawmaker Becky Edwards may have come up short in her recent bids for the U.S. House and Senate, but she’s not done with politics. The Republican, who spent nine years in the Utah House of Representatives, is launching a new political action committee.

The Governing Group, in Edwards’ words, seeks to empower women, leave partisan politics behind and focus on solutions-oriented candidates. The PAC will support Republican and unaffiliated candidates and provide financial and organizational support to leaders both new and veteran.

“We're going to support candidates who are leaving that partisan finger-pointing behind and are looking to work with civility to problem-solving,” Edwards said.

During her campaigns, Edwards said she noticed women faced a lot of challenges while running for office in Utah. She thought it would be great to be able to bring people the resources they need to get a place on the ballot.

The Governing Group won’t just focus on raising money, Edwards said, “but partnering the financial resources with the ground game, the fieldwork, the people, the volunteers who are really positioned to and engaged around trying to get good candidates.”

Even if she’s not campaigning anymore, Edwards sees this as a way to build off of her previous experiences.

“You can make a big impact as a candidate, but there's so many more ways to actually impact change that don't involve running for office,” she said. Bringing people together, coaching, and mentoring, for example, “means that instead of one person running for office and then serving, we have the ability to have that ripple effect.”

Women in Utah face challenges when it comes to politics, like low participation rates. A study from Utah State University shows Utah ranks 40th for number of women serving in the legislature.

“Many of us have been discouraged at times within the Republican Party,” said Nina Barnes, a board member for Utah Women Run, an initiative to get more women running for office.

Barnes thinks a PAC like this will help women get involved in politics. When people come together with experiences such as Edwards’, she said it can “just help kind of pave that pathway and make it a little less bumpy for [others] as they enter a campaign.”

For Edwards, this isn’t just an effort for one election cycle. Her first goal is to raise $50,000.

“This is an effort that's going to go on and on with the ultimate goal of changing the face of politics here in Utah,” she said. “I want other states around this country to look at Utah and say that's a place we can look to — they do politics right in Utah.”

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