In 2022, business executive and former government official Ally Isom sought the Republican nomination for an open U.S. Senate seat in Utah. Isom brought impressive credentials and experience to the race but ultimately came up short in the crowded GOP primary field. While Isom fell short this time, her competitive 2022 campaign demonstrated her strong name recognition and potential to run for major office again in the future.
Isom’s Background and Qualifications
Early Life and Education
Allyson Isom, known as Ally Isom, was born in 1968 and raised in Utah. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Her interest in politics and public service began early in life.
Government and Church Experience
After college, Isom landed a job in the office of Utah Governor Michael Leavitt. She worked her way up to deputy chief of staff during Leavitt’s tenure. Isom continued serving in the state government and also took on roles with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She served as the director of media, communications, and marketing for the church’s missionary department.
Isom built an extensive career in the private sector, including serving as chief strategy and marketing officer for Provo-based company EVŌQ nano. She helped the tech startup grow and gain investments. Isom developed valuable experience in business strategy and leadership.
Local Political Offices
While building her career, Isom continued in public service. She won election to the city council in Kaysville, Utah in 2017. Isom also served as executive board chair for the Women’s Leadership Institute, which aims to empower and prepare women for leadership roles.
2022 Utah Senate Race
Republican Primary Campaign
In 2022, Isom decided to run for higher office and set her sights on an open U.S. Senate seat in Utah. Longtime Republican Senator Mike Lee opted to run for reelection, opening up competition in the GOP primary. Isom positioned herself as a conservative Republican with private sector and government experience.
Positions and Priorities
Isom emphasized traditional conservative policies during her Senate campaign. She stressed reducing federal spending and regulations to empower small businesses. Isom called for increased domestic energy production and immigration restrictions. She also voiced strong support for gun rights and opposition to abortion.
Isom won endorsements from high-profile Utah Republicans like Congressman John Curtis. She also garnered support from national groups like the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. These endorsements signaled Isom’s conservative credentials.
Competition in the Primary
However, Isom faced fierce competition from a crowded field of 10 Republican primary contenders. The race included candidates like former state lawmaker Becky Edwards and political operative Ally Hart. But the frontrunner status went to Isom’s main rival – Mike Lee’s former intern and aide, Becky Edwards.
When Utah Republicans cast their primary ballots on June 28, 2022, Isom came up short. She placed third with 18% of the vote, trailing behind Becky Edwards with 32% and frontrunner Mike Lee with 59%. While she gained substantial support, Isom failed to advance to a runoff against Lee. Her Senate bid came to an end.
Assessment of Isom’s Senate Bid
Strong Name Recognition
Despite her third place finish, Isom demonstrated her strong name ID and fundraising ability. She built connections across Utah politics over her decades of government and business experience. Isom showed she could mount a competitive campaign for major office.
Messaging and Fundraising
Isom ran an active campaign focused on her conservative credentials and private sector background. She raised over $730,000 for her Senate bid, keeping pace with top rivals’ fundraising. Isom’s messaging fell short against Edwards and Lee, but she gained valuable experience for future races.
At just 55 years old, Isom still has plenty of time to make another statewide run in Utah’s Republican circles. She could bid for an open House or Senate seat in the future. Isom may also pursue statewide offices like governor or lieutenant governor to advance her political career. Her 2022 Senate run was just the start.
Ally Isom brought a strong profile and campaign to her 2022 Utah Senate bid. While she fell short in the crowded Republican primary, Isom proved she is a contender who can raise money and support across the state. Keep an eye out for Isom to make another run on Utah’s statewide ballot soon. She has the credentials, connections, and experience for a promising political future.
What prior roles did Ally Isom hold before running for Senate?
Isom had an extensive background in Utah government and politics before her Senate bid, including serving as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Michael Leavitt. She also held executive roles with the LDS Church and a Utah tech startup.
When did Isom serve on the Kaysville City Council?
Isom won election to the city council in Kaysville, Utah in 2017. This helped build her local political profile.
How much fundraising did Isom’s Senate campaign generate?
Isom raised over $730,000 in her 2022 Senate bid. This kept her financially competitive with other top Republican contenders.
Who won the 2022 Republican Senate primary that Isom competed in?
Longtime Utah Senator Mike Lee won the crowded GOP Senate primary with 59% of the vote. Isom placed third with 18% behind Lee and second-place finisher Becky Edwards.
What future statewide races could Isom potentially run in Utah?
With her strong campaign in 2022, Isom could compete for open Senate or House seats in the future. She may also run for governor, lieutenant governor or other statewide offices soon.