POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Heidi Balderree discusses plans as Utah’s newest senator

Oct 14, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: Oct 15, 2023, 5:14 am

Image of Heidi Balderree, who won the special election to replace Sen. Jake Anderegg. (Heidi Balder...

Heidi Balderree wins the special election to replace Sen. Jake Anderegg. (Heidi Balderree campaign)

(Heidi Balderree campaign)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, 129 Republican state delegates gathered together at Mountain Ridge Junior High to elect the next senator for Utah Senate District 22. After six rounds of balloting, the delegates announced Heidi Balderree as the winner. 

Balderree told KSL NewsRadio she felt strong going into the vote, but things changed after the first couple of rounds. However, an endorsement from a fellow candidate made a big difference.  

“It’s just a testament to the value of relationships and being, you know, just collegial with everyone,” she said. 

When this position opened up, Balderree said it wasn’t a question of if she should — it was how could she not. Balderree was previously working with Americans for Prosperity Utah. She said this position was all about policy reform and getting good candidates elected. 

“The closest thing I could do, as opposed to what I’m doing now, is to become a policymaker,” she explained. “And that’s why I ran.”

Agenda items

As Utah’s 2024 legislative session approaches, Balderree said she will focus on items like transportation and education. 

“What I’ve been hearing from the delegates, and my neighbors, who said they want their kids to go to a place where they can be educated and not indoctrinated.”

Balderree staunchly supports the controversial Utah school choice bill passed earlier this year. HB215 established the Utah Fits All scholarship that provides parents funding for their children’s education, including for private school or even homeschooling. Balderree said this bill put parents back in the driving seat of their child’s education. 

“I’d love to see that expanded,” she said. ” I know that the priority will be for those of lower economic status. But the reality is, as a middle-class mom during COVID, I looked for other education options. And it wasn’t financially a decision that we could make even as middle-class citizens.”

Related: Heidi Balderree elected to Utah Senate in District 22

 

 

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Heidi Balderree discusses plans as Utah’s newest senator