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House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig Won't Run for Re-Election

Women top the leadership of both parties in Utah’s House of Representatives. But that’s going to change next year. Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake, announced she’s stepping down as leader of the House Democrats. Like House Speaker Becky Lockhart, Seelig is the first woman in Utah’s history to hold her post. She says serving in the Legislature has been an education in juggling and she’s ready to focus once again on her personal goals.

“What I am going to do is focus on another area of life that is of course entwined in public service and that involves finishing my education," she says. "I need to complete my dissertation for my PhD in political science and public administration.”

Seelig represents Salt Lake’s Rose Park neighborhood. Her bills have dealt with domestic abuse, rape, human trafficking and other types of violence. Seelig says she’s signaling her seat will be open in next year’s election so other candidates feel welcome to step up.

“It is my hope that I have inspired other young people, other women to be able to get engaged," she says. "And I will measure my success truly on those that come after me. And if they do a better job than me, then I know I will have created a pathway for them to be able to succeed – and that is what is important.”

Seelig says she hopes that girls will see their own potential in public service. She has served for eight years in the House of Representatives

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.
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