Democrat Donna McAleer announces she's challenging Rep. Rob Bishop

Published: Friday, Oct. 4 2013 2:35 p.m. MDT

Donna McAleer gives her concession speech following a failed run for Congress at the Salt Lake Sheraton on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Salt Lake City.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Democrat Donna McAleer on Friday announced her second bid to unseat Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, saying Utahns are being held hostage by the federal government shutdown.

"The question before our nation, before our elected officials and before voters in Utah is: What's more important, governing our nation or wrecking our government and everything it represents?" McAleer said.

Bishop, who has represented the 1st District since 2003, and other members of the state's congressional delegation are on the "spearhead of obstructionism," McAleer said, detailing the impacts of the shutdown that began Tuesday.

Utahns, especially workers at Hill Air Force Base and other federal government operations in the 1st District "are suffering because the government has sold them out to partisan politics," she said.

McAleer said the furloughs of thousands of government employees, cutbacks in federal programs and other effects of the shutdown should convince voters it's time to replace Bishop and other congressional incumbents in 2014.

"Let this be a call to action," she said. "It's our responsibility, part of this government shutdown. Yes, it's easy to say our Congress shut down our government, but we elected our Congress."

McAleer, an Army veteran who has worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors and lives in Park City, already faces a challenger for the Democratic Party nomination from Ogden doctor Peter Clemens.

She also had a primary challenger in her 2012 race against Bishop.

McAleer made her announcement at a rally against the government shutdown outside the offices of Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. The rally, organized by MoveOn.org, attracted about 30 people.

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