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Park City’s world-renowned ski mountaineer and climate activist Caroline Gleich runs for US Senate

Caroline Gleich on the Utah State Capitol steps.
Gleich campaign
Caroline Gleich on the Utah State Capitol steps.

Park City-based world-renowned ski mountaineer and climate activist Caroline Gleich has officially declared her candidacy for Sen. Mitt Romney’s U.S. Senate seat.

Gleich moved to Utah in 2001 and said she has fallen deeply in love with the landscapes of the state. She is an award-winning athlete and social and environmental justice advocate who has summited some of the highest peaks in the world, including Mount Everest.

Gleich said she is answering Sen. Romney’s call for “a new generation of leaders” and encourages other young people and women to run for office.

“This is a huge opportunity to attempt something that many people think is impossible, and also to show that there's a lot of different ways a senator can look," she said. "I don't look like what a mountaineer looks like and I don't look like what people think a Senator looks like.”

As a climate activist, Gleich said she has been able to work with many different organizations at the local, state and federal levels for the past 15 years. Through that experience, she has gotten to know elected officials across Utah. She has also testified before the U.S. House and Senate on how climate change has impacted snow sports.

In the Senate, Gleich plans to focus on elevating issues like climate change, air quality and gender equality. She also wishes to expand access to outdoor recreation activities.

Whether it’s climbing a mountain or running as a Democrat in Utah, Gleich said she’s no stranger to challenges.

“Democracy works best when people from diverse backgrounds with different interests come to the table," she said. "There's a lot of data that supports that, that when we have more women as elected officials, we see better policy.”

The last Democrat to occupy one of Utah’s U.S. Senate seats was Frank Edward Moss who served from 1959 to 1977. Gleich is one of three Democrats in Utah who have filed to run for Sen. Romney’s open position.

If Gleich gets the Democratic nomination, she could be up against one of 11 Republicans who have filed to run for the Senate seat including Rep. John Curtis, former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson and late Orrin Hatch’s son Brent Hatch.

The general election is Nov. 5.