Skip to main content

Taylorsville Journal

Former Taylorsville resident Ally Isom working to unseat Mike Lee in the U.S. Senate

Feb 23, 2022 07:34PM ● By Carl Fauver

Ally Isom once called Taylorsville home. Next year she hopes to call Washington D.C. home, after staging an upset Utah Republican primary election win over incumbent U.S. Sen. Mike Lee. (

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

About the same time Taylorsville was officially becoming a city, in the summer of 1996, the community was also welcoming a new family into its borders. It was a time of big change for Utah’s “Centennial City” and for Ally and Eric Isom and their young family.

“We moved in near Arcadia Elementary School (3461 West 4850 South) in June 1996—with hardly any furniture—and two daughters: one about to start kindergarten (Alyssa) and the other age 2 1/2 (Kenna),” Ally Isom said. “Growing up, my family had moved 13 different times. So, I wanted to be [in Taylorsville] awhile.”

She got her wish, spending the next decade in that Taylorsville home. Two more children, both sons (Jace and Tate), joined the family while they were residents. She also helped on a couple of successful political campaigns during that time. But she was never a candidate herself—until now.

Former Taylorsville resident Ally Isom, 51, wants to be your next United States senator. She and her campaign volunteers are working hard on a big challenge. They hope to derail Utah’s senior U.S. Sen. Mike Lee on his path to a third six-year term.

But don’t think for a minute that long odds are going to scare off Isom. She’s been facing down challenges and doing “whatever it takes” since the moment she began calling Taylorsville home.

“Right after we moved in, I became pregnant, and I get horribly ill when I’m pregnant,” Ally said. “But we were bound and determined to have a healthy son. I ended up on 14 weeks of bedrest, before delivering Jace at 25 weeks, six days. He was my miracle baby, an extreme preemie. His weight was 1 pound, 5 ounces, and he was 11 inches long.”

Ally wasn’t the only mom with young kids in her area. Another was Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton.

“Ally and I were in the same Taylorsville neighborhood, and she became one of my dear friends,” Winder Newton said. “We joined with other women in our neighborhood to form a dinner coop, involving four families. Monday through Thursday nights we took turns cooking for all four families. It was a lot of work on your cooking night, but you got the other three nights off.”

Isom said the same families also formed a babysitting co-op. One Friday night each month, three sets of parents dropped their kids at the fourth home. Once they hosted that slumber party one month, each couple had babysitting covered one night, for the next three months.

“The co-ops were great; they really made me feel connected to the neighborhood,” Isom said. “One time we came back to pick up our kids at Aimee’s house, and Kenna was sound asleep in her bathtub.”

“When we were putting all the kids to bed that night, Kenna wanted a quieter place to lie down,” Winder Newton said. “So, I put a bunch of blankets and pillows in the tub, and she snuggled right in.”

Winder Newton would love to see her longtime friend represent Utah in the United States Senate.

“I appreciate the service of Sen. Lee, but told him I would be supporting Ally,” she said. “Ally Isom is a classic conservative Republican who knows how to get things done. She will work hard for Utah and knows how to fight for the things that matter.”

Another high-profile Taylorsville Republican who’s been on both sides of Ally Isom’s political savvy is Utah House District 39 Rep. Jim Dunnigan. In 2001, Isom volunteered on Russ Wall’s race for Taylorsville City Council against Dunnigan. With Ally’s help, Wall won. So, the next year, Dunnigan recruited her to help him win his seat in the state legislature. He’s been in that seat ever since.

“Ally really knows how to get things done, politically,” Dunnigan said. “She was really good for Wall when he beat me for the city council seat. And she was a big help in my House race the following year. She listens; she’s fair; I think very highly of her.”

To this day, Dunnigan has a gift from Isom in his office.

“After we won the [2002 Utah House] race, Ally gave me a plaque with a Lincoln head penny on it,” he said. “The inscription on the plaque reads: ‘As you represent our district in Utah’s House of Representatives, be honest like Abe, remember to trust in God and never forget every penny counts! You’ll do great!’ I have cherished that plaque ever since. Ally is an incredibly competent woman."

Ally met Eric while the two were attending BYU, where they each earned degrees, hers in political science, with a minor in Communication. Their June 1989 wedding came seven years before the move to Taylorsville. That’s when Isom first became involved in politics, helping former Gov. Gary Herbert in his campaign for Utah County Commissioner.

Years later, after the Isom family had moved from Taylorsville to Kaysville, Herbert asked Ally to be his deputy chief of staff in the governor’s office. At that time, Isom had served a year on the Kaysville City Council, after being appointed by the other council members to fill a vacant seat.

“It was a tough decision, because I enjoyed serving on the city council and was planning to run for reelection,” she said.

Isom says she loved working for Herbert. But there was a time when she knew she needed a change.

“It was after our 21-year-old daughter Alyssa suddenly passed away,” she said. “That’s when I realized I needed some time to heal. It’s also when I decided to spend my energies serving and connecting people in meaningful ways.” 

Isom went to work for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as one of its directors, working in public affairs and global messaging. Years later, she was recruited to work for a tech startup as acting executive and chief marketing officer. 

“I’ve had experience in government, with a worldwide religious nonprofit and in the private sector,” Isom said. “Each of those has prepared me to serve in a unique way.”

Isom’s decision to challenge Lee in the Utah Republican primary came at the same time throngs of President Donald Trump supporters were rampaging through the United States Capitol, 14 months ago.

“On Jan. 4, 5 and 6 last year, three different women in my life reached out to me, separately, to encourage me to challenge Mike Lee,” she said. “When I saw our nation under attack on Jan. 6, I wondered how did we get to this place? How can there be so many marginalized people? It feels to me like the incumbent is adding fuel to the flames. I want my party back. I want my country back.”

Isom and her volunteers are now working to gather 28,000 petition signatures from registered Utah Republicans before April 8, in order to get her name on the June 28 primary election ballot. Lee and at least one other Republican challenger, former state lawmaker Becky Edwards, are doing likewise. If a Utah Republican signs petitions for two of them, only the first candidate to turn that signature in to election officials gets to count it.

Isom, Lee and Edwards will also each try to gain enough support during the April 23 State Republican Convention to get on the primary ballot through that channel.

For more information about Isom’s campaign, visit or email the campaign at [email protected].

“I miss living in Taylorsville so much,” the grandmother of five said. “My husband was a [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] bishop for nearly five years, until we moved. We return often for weddings and other activities. There’s not a time when I drive on I-215 past the 47th south exit when I don’t think ‘I should be getting off.’ Our Taylorsville years (1996 to 2006) were a wonderful time in our lives.”

Follow the Taylorsville Journal on Facebook!