SALT LAKE CITY — Another Republican challenger has entered the race to unseat Utah's senior senator.
Ally Isom announced on Thursday she would seek the GOP nomination, hoping to unseat Sen. Mike Lee. Isom recently worked as the family and community relations director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and previously served as Governor Gary Herbert's deputy chief of staff and communications director.
"I believe it's time for a Republican renaissance. I believe it's time for a new dawn for the Republican party," she said in an interview with FOX 13 on Thursday. "For us to get back to the basics, to get back to focus on things like fiscal responsibility and limited government and states rights and the ability for innovation to thrive at a local level. I feel like we've gotten so distant on that and we've focused on polarizing personalities and most of us are saying that's the past, let's look to the future."
Isom said some of the things she hears Utahns want a senator to focus on is national debt, clean energy solutions, climate issues and jobs.
"It requires cooperation to move forward," she said.
Isom publicly announced she "quit" the Republican Party in 2016 after Donald Trump was elected president, criticizing divisive rhetoric she'd seen brewing within the party. She has since re-registered.
"When I unaffiliated from the Republican Party, it was because I felt my party had left me in some ways. We'd abandoned the core conservative principles that the party is founded on. For me, it was unchecking a box. I have been Republican as long as I can remember, as long as I've been registered to vote," she said. "That identity never changed for me."
Isom is entering what could ultimately be a crowded field as Republicans seek to primary Sen. Lee. So far, she's the third candidate to enter the race. Former state representative Becky Edwards announced in May she would seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in the 2022 election.
Isom told FOX 13 that she would gather signatures to secure a spot on the GOP primary ballot, in addition to seeking the nomination through the state party's caucus and convention system.
In a video posted to social media, Isom announced she would spend the summer walking Main Streets across the state to meet and listen to voters about their concerns.