About Jim

My name is Jim Bennett. I have a bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Southern California and a Master of Business Administration from Brigham Young University, and I’ve spent my career as a writer, marketer, manager, and politico. I’ve been married to the former Laurel Sidwell for almost 23 years, and we live in Sandy with our five children.

I attended the University of Southern California as a theatre major.

After a year at USC, I left on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in Scotland, where my father had served his own mission some three decades earlier. My grandfather, former Senator Wallace Bennett, came to see me off at the airport. As far as I know, this is the only photo with the three of us together.


I returned home and finished my theatre degree at the University of Southern California, graduating in 1993. After graduation, I went to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where I served as the Executive Producer of the the old Pink Garter Theatre, where I produced five summer seasons of summer stock.

In 1994, against her better judgment, the lovely and brilliant Laurel Sidwell agreed to marry me, and she’s still with me almost twenty-three years and five children later. It’s certainly the best decision I ever made, but I can’t speak for her.

While working in Jackson, I went back to school in 1997 to earn a business degree, graduating with my MBA from BYU in 1999. Our first daughter, Abigail, had arrived a few months before I started my master’s program, and our second daughter, Eliza, came along the next year. Both of them came to see me graduate, although they probably don’t remember that.

I soon started work at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in Southern Utah as both Marketing and Artistic Director.

One of Tuacahn’s board members was Fred Lampropoulous, a successful entrepreneur who mounted a run for the Republican nomination for Utah governor in 2004. He hired me as his Communications Director, and I wrote a daily two-minute radio program for him that he used to introduce himself to the Utah electorate.

I moved from St. George to Sandy, and I ended up running a number of campaigns, including several for prominent Republicans and a successful ballot initiative to fund transit and transportation projects. (I didn’t run any of Mitt Romney’s campaigns, but I did accidentally get my picture taken with him, which I share with you here.)

  • I was also Senator Orrin Hatch’s webmaster for his 2006 campaign, as well as the advertising director for my father’s successful 2004 reelection.
  • I essentially ended my career as a political operative after I ran my father’s 2010 reelection campaign. I thought was finished with professional politics.
  • I went into business for myself, working as a freelance copywriter and marketer for a number of clients. I also started writing editorials for the Deseret News, as well as a regular column about values in the media.

You can read all my Deseret News columns online here.

  • I also have been working as the Program Director of RealVictory, a non-profit that teaches a cognitive behavioral model to probationers and parolees.
  • I also made a foray into Mormon apologetics that attracted quite a bit of attention. Titled “A Reply from a Former CES Employee,” my piece has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.

You can download “A Reply from a Former CES Employee” here. 

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I was contacted by Richard Davis to get involved in a new, centrist political party. When Jason Chaffetz announced he was leaving before the end of his term, I saw the opportunity to jump into the race in order to introduce this party and its principles to the people of Utah.

But regardless of what happens in this race, I will follow my father’s example and stand up for what I believe, but still refuse to let politics define who I am.

 

6 Comments

  1. Jake Despain

    Just helping you by looking at the grammar here. You said, “Taxes should be designed to raise revenue from the government, not to pursue social engineering and other policy goals. Since lower rates can increase revenue, tax reform that lowers rates and closes loopholes is the wisest approach.”
    Did you mean to say “for” the government instead of from?
    Just reading and was wondering so thought I’d help in case it was incorrect.

    Reply
    • admin

      You are correct – it should be “for.” Thanks for catching that!

      Reply
  2. Beth Allen

    Dear Jim,

    I have been following your candidacy and your statements on issues, particularly related to climate solutions. I am a member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and we support a solution that may be of great interest to you. You have expressed concerns about the lack of significant effects that any current proposals would have on changing the alarming trajectory that climate scientists have predicted. You have also voiced concern for the adverse economic consequences for those who are most vulnerable. I could not agree with you more!

    The Citizens’ Climate Lobby proposal has studied the economic benefits of federal legislation that puts a revenue neutral carbon fee on fossil fuels with dividends being returned to households. It is a market driven approach and economic models have shown that it would be job producing in many sectors and would naturally promote development of renewable, sustainable energy sources.

    Our members are trying to meet with all candidates running for Jason Chaffetz’ seat to learn more about each of their ideas about addressing climate solutions and to share information that might be valuable to their campaigns.

    I look forward to the possibility of meeting with you in the near future. If you can provide me with potential meeting dates and times, I will get back to you to confirm a meeting date.

    Reply
  3. Mark Richardson

    Let me know if you would like help with your political mail.
    -Mark Richardson
    US Postal Service
    801-974-2540

    Reply
  4. Rick McGee

    Hello Jim,

    Great to see you running as an Independent candidate! It’s time our country shifted from two-party rule where nothing gets done. I will pay close attention to your campaign.

    You might be interested in a book I wrote and published titled “The Independent”. Happy to send you an ebook or paperback if interested. See my website below for more info. Good luck to you!

    Reply
  5. Beth Allen

    Hi Jim,
    On July 18, I sent you a message requesting a meeting to talk about your campaign and platform regarding climate solutions (please scroll back to that message above) I am hoping that you will be willing to set up a time to talk in the near future.

    I will likely be out of town after September 12 for several weeks so would like to set a meeting up at a convenient time and location before that date.

    Reply

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