Jenny Wilson

Jenny Wilson and Rocky Anderson are Democrats. One is mayor, and the other wants to be — but the similarities end there.

Wilson, who currently serves on the Salt Lake County Council, announced her plans Tuesday to follow her father's footsteps all the way to the mayor's office. Her father, Ted Wilson, served as mayor from 1976-85.

If elected in the November 2007 vote, Wilson said she plans to mend broken relationships with the Legislature and other local politicians, and bring civility back to the Salt Lake City mayor's office.

"We need a mayor that is willing to work with all sides," Wilson said. "I think that we're at a time in the city's history where establishing relationships is absolutely key. Frankly, that's a different leadership approach than our current mayor."

Despite their shared political party, Wilson won't have Anderson's support. The current mayor is supporting a Republican, former City Councilman Keith Christensen.

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Nancy Saxton is the only other candidate officially in the race. Four other members of the council are interested in running: Dave Buhler, Eric Jergensen, Jill Remington Love and Carlton Christensen all are mulling a possible run for mayor.

Politics are in Wilson's blood, as she was raised by a man who led Salt Lake City for nine years. Wilson spent many a family vacation out of town with her father at various conferences. As a child, her father introduced her to Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But it was the day-to-day influence of seeing her father deal with local issues and respond to constituents' concerns that inspired Wilson to follow her dad's example.

"My dad is my biggest supporter," Wilson said. "He's already made the first pledge for contributions. He's always willing to share advice, and this is an opportune time for that to happen even more."

As for filling the shoes of the controversial Anderson, Wilson said she would change a few things.

First off, she says she would focus on problems impacting Salt Lake City — not nationwide issues like whether President Bush should have led the country into war.

Wilson said she wants to revitalize neighborhoods, especially on the west side. And she said she wants to be a part of the massive revitalization of downtown over the next 10 years.

And although she does not support the war in Iraq, don't expect Wilson to stage a protest to Bush in future years.

"I won't be organizing rallies for any national cause," Wilson said. "I have a greater interest in spending my time on the business of running the city."


E-mail: ldethman@desnews.com