August 18, 2021 — Today Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Ally Isom joined Sharon McMahon for an hour-long conversation about the experience of women candidates as they run uphill into the world of politics.
Sharon, a former government and law teacher who took her passion for education to her viral Instagram account has earned a reputation as “America’s Government Teacher.” During the interview she and Ally talked about what it’s like to be a female candidate challenging an incumbent.
“When I’m just me and just connect and talk to people … when I see (the person) and remember this is about Utahns and what they need in Washington D.C., and not about me, the nerves go away,” Ally said. “Because I feel like I’m on a mission, and I have this honor to give voice to so many people who have felt unseen and unheard. Because I’m telling you, as I visit with them, I see them, and I hear them, and it’s inspiring. And they deserve a voice in Washington D.C., that’s going to get things done and represent them.”
Sharon also asked Ally how she would change the “dysfunctional” environment of the U.S. Senate. Ally said U.S. Senators need to be reminded of the things that matter and “shed all the trappings of public office.”
“It starts with candidates like me who say, ‘We’re not doing politics as usual anymore. We’re done with that. We’re just going to start straight talking and being honest … I can promise you when I wake up in the morning, I’m not looking for a microphone. I’m going to go out looking for solutions and other good people who want to get things done,” Ally said.
During the conversation they also spoke about the importance of collaboration when it comes to writing and amending our nation’s laws and delivering results for constituents.
“It does concern me that we don’t have someone who’s willing to (do that),” Ally said. “I’m absolutely committed to principle, but in public policy, you collaborate for results. You collaborate for outcomes. And that’s where I want to be different. The incumbent has only passed a handful of bills in eleven years, and in my mind the ratio should be a little higher than that.”
One of the funny moments of the interview was when Sharon pressed Ally about collaborating for results. “What do you say to people who think that is a naive approach, that Washington is like a vipers nest and you’re gonna try to feed the vipers some brownies?” Sharon asked.
Ally conceded that it could sound a little naive and wild-eyed, “but the difference is I’ve actually seen it work. I’ve seen it work in the Governor’s Office, I’ve seen it work with the state legislature, I’ve seen it work in a private nonprofit, and I’ve seen it work in the private sector. I know that it works and I think that’s the problem. We’ve forgotten that it works … I also think we are underestimating the capacity of our leaders to come to a better place. As part of my exploratory phase for running, I spoke with several of our delegation and one of our Congressional representatives said, ‘Look I have colleagues who wake up in the morning, put on makeup and look for a microphone. But there are a lot of us who wake up in the morning, and look for solutions and want to get good things done. And you will find whatever you’re looking for, Ally.’ That reassured me that it’s not naive to think that we can do it better, and that we can do it differently and there are a number of people already there trying to do it differently, it’s just that so often the screamers and the haters have the microphones thrust in their faces and we are failing to listen to those who are in the reasonable places trying to get things done.”
“My hope is to do a better job of communicating with constituents and let them have a glimpse into all the good that’s being done … I feel like it starts with me, it starts with the way I talk about it, the way I model it, the way I frame a dialogue. I feel a stewardship for that,” she said.
You can watch the full interview here.