OGDEN — A rehabilitation counselor and debate coach from Ogden is the first Democrat to announce her candidacy for U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop’s seat in 2020.
Jamie Cheek this weekend joined two Republicans — two-term Morgan County councilwoman Tina Cannon and Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt — who have filed to run for the 1st Congressional District seat held by Bishop. Self-described constitutional conservative Cory Green announced earlier this month that he is also running for Bishop’s seat, but had not filed with the Federal Election Commission as of Monday.
The longtime Republican congressman confirmed in July that he would not seek reelection next year, but said he was considering a run for governor.
In a YouTube video posted Sunday, Cheek says she is running “because Utah deserves better than corporate apologist politicians working on behalf of a tiny, wealthy elite.”
“Gerrymandering and voter suppression have lulled too many into political apathy,” Cheek says in the video. “It has made our elected officials unaccountable to the people and impervious to public sentiment. It is time for new thinking from a new generation of leaders.”
Cheek lives in Ogden, according to her campaign website, and works as a rehabilitation counselor and college debate coach in Box Elder and Cache counties.
That work “gives me the unique privilege of connecting with folks all over our district,” Cheek says in the video. “I understand the needs of the people of our district because I work for them every single day.”
Cheek was born and raised in Wyoming and moved to Utah nearly a decade ago, according to her campaign website. She describes herself as a former first-generation college student.
“Growing up in a rural community means I understand the importance of resources and representation for Utah’s 1st District,” Cheek’s website states.
She has a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Wyoming and a master’s in rehabilitation counseling from Utah State University. She is currently the district director overseeing all Utah State Office of Rehabilitation services north of Brigham City.
Cheek’s website lists “fair pay for fair work,” healthcare, free college tuition, student loan debt forgiveness, “fight(ing) for a sustainable future,” and “end(ing) gerrymandering and voter suppression” as her top priorities.
“We face a pivotal moment in our American experiment that demands bold progressive action to meet the challenges of the present,” Cheek says in her announcement video. “Our great nation is built on the promise of progress, on the principle of equality, and on the passion for justice. We now find ourselves at a fork in the road where each of us must decide which side of history we’re going to be on when the dust settles on 2020.”
Cheek did not immediately respond to calls Monday night.