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Daughter Follows Dad into Politics

Daughter Follows Dad into Politics


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Sammy Linebaugh Reporting For 30 years Ted Wilson has been a mainstay of Utah Politics, serving as Salt Lake City Mayor for nearly a decade. Now, daughter Jenny has taken the political plunge, elected this last November as the only woman on the Salt Lake County Council.

Ted Wilson: "When she told me she wanted to run for office I just had a huge gush of pride."

Jenny Wilson has spent too many hours to count talking with her dad about politics, climbing mountains or on the campaign trail. Growing up amid the inner workings of city government was to her typical teenage stuff.

Jenny Wilson, Member, Salt Lake County Council: “I experienced it all, from very young child to college.”

Ted Wilson: "She had her own mind from day one, since she was just a baby. And I thought, ‘Well you might be proud that she's running, but don't think you're going to affect county policy.’"

As the newly-elected sole woman on Salt Lake's County Council, Wilson says the former Mayor is one of her closest confidants, though father and daughter don't always agree

Jenny Wilson: "He and my mom taught me independence, and to really stand for my convictions. I'll call him even now and say, ‘Let me tell you what happened today, people were at this meeting.’ I think he sort of listens and gives me a little advice. The back of his mind he's thinking, that's nothing like the 1984 fire strike."

Though the issues may have changed, Wilson, like her dad, believes in grass roots government.

Jenny Wilson: "Most importantly, we need the people to be involved in the county government as we look at the scandals, the trouble. Now a year later, let's as a public embrace county government and be a watchdog, because I think the greatest watchdog for the county is the public."

Consensus building, she knows, is tricky business from Salt Lake City to Washington, where she worked as Congressman Bill Orton's Chief of Staff. Advice from dad...

"Don't get too crazy excited about your best day, and don't get down about your worst day."

There is always another mountain to climb, the occasional peak, a perfect view,that priceless reminder of progress.

One of Jenny Wilson's first responsibilities on the council is to chair an ethics reform commission.

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