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Activist, Democratic National Convention delegate announces campaign for Owens' congressional seat

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 19:51:31-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Burgess Owens has a new challenger in the 2022 election.

Darlene McDonald announced Saturday that she will run against Owens, the Republican incumbent who represents Utah's 4th Congressional District.

McDonald is a local community activist and a member of the Democratic National Committee. She was a delegate for now-President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. She is also largely involved in the Utah Democratic Party.

"I'm running for Congress because I'm tired of seeing endless distractions while our country faces serious and very real problems that are being ignored. Issues like the supply chain, crumbling infrastructure, and national debt must urgently be addressed. As a mom and grandma, I want to ensure our future generations have a path to education, employment, and home ownership," McDonald said in the announcement. "We can't afford to simply cross our fingers and hope everything works out. We need members of Congress who, instead of focusing on distractions, do real work, on real issues that affect real Americans from every walk of life."

Her campaign announcement says she works in the technology industry, and she is a writer and published author. She's also the founder of the 1 Utah Project nonprofit, which is meant to "encourage civic engagement within the BIPOC communities and disaffected voters of Utah as well as to push back against disinformation."

McDonald is also "a strong voice speaking out against racial discrimination in Utah's public schools," the statement read.

Sean Flignor, Owens' campaign manager, gave this statement in response to the announcement of a new challenger:

"Burgess Owens is a conservative champion for Utahns and will be re-elected based upon his record of delivering for his constituents."

Owens is in his first term as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He defeated then-incumbent Rep. Ben McAdams in 2020 by 1 percent (3,765 votes).

Jake Hunsaker is running against Owens in the Republican primary election.

The 2022 general election will be held Nov. 8, and the primary is June 28. Candidates must file by March 11, according to Ballotpedia.