Press Releases

Read Darlene’s statements on key issues and current events.


October 13, 2022


Contact: Michael McDonald

Burgess Owens’ No-Show

Representative Burgess Owens declined to attend the scheduled debate for Congressional District 4 candidates on October 12. 

The event was hosted by the Utah Debate Commission and moderated by the Salt Lake Tribune’s Executive Editor, Lauren Gustus. Rep. Owens cited a political cartoon by cartoonist Pat Bagley that was published by the news outlet as the reason for pulling out of the debate. He called the cartoon “racist”, and said, “I will not, in good conscience, have anything to do with the racist Salt Lake Tribune.” 

There’s one problem with Rep. Owens’ statement — the words used in the cartoon were his own.

In April 2021, Owens traveled with a group of Republican members of Congress to the Southern border. He later went on the far-right Newsmax station and said:

“We are seeing every single day, people coming here and within hours getting on a train or a plane and going to your neighborhood. So, no Americans, this isn’t a border issue anymore. They are coming to your neighborhoods, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, and there is a cartel influence along the way. So be aware, don’t think this is a distance from you now, this is coming your way and it is done on purpose by a party who could care less about ‘we the people’.”

— Rep. Burgess Owens

White tenants seeking to prevent Blacks from moving into the Sojourner Truth Housing Project erected this sign in Detroit, 1942. Source:WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

It’s a matter of historical fact that the words used by Owens against the migrants at the southern border are indistinguishable from the words used against African Americans following the Civil War.

In July 1951 — just a month before Mr. Owens’ birth  — one of the worst race riots in U.S history began. The riot was in response to World War II veteran Harvey E. Clark moving into an apartment in an all-white neighborhood in Cicero, Illinois with his wife Johnetta and two daughters. As the couple tried to move in, the sheriff showed up and told them, “There will be no moving into this building.”

That night, an angry mob stormed the apartment, tossed the family’s belongings out of a third floor window and set everything on fire. There are many examples of racism perpetrated against African Americans that dared to breach redlined neighborhoods. These attitudes followed nearly a century of Black Codes and Jim Crow laws that were enacted following the Civil War. These laws were passed to maintain the social constructs of the Antebellum.

Representative Owens often speaks about his experience growing up under Jim Crow. This experience is shared by members of my own family. When I shared Mr. Owen’s comments with them, they were horrified and asked, “Doesn’t he know his history?”

Burgess Owens knows his history. He also knows that people share those views, but don’t want to be called racist. Therefore, he has allowed himself to be their sounding board. When someone dares to challenge him, he uses his race and experience as cover. It is a cynical use of the race card.

Owens has used this tactic since 2016 when he was invited onto a FOX News show after writing his book, “Whiners, Weenies and Wimps.” In his book, he lambasted Black civil rights activists and leaders, past and present, and their perceived relationships with liberalism. Owens’ Super Bowl ring didn’t get him onto FOX News. It was his enthusiasm to regurgitate far-right rhetoric and his willingness to be used to placate racist views like those used in the 2021 Newsmax interview. He courts racists and racist ideology and allows himself to be used as cover. That’s his schtick.

Burgess Owens doesn’t have a history of working for or in any community in Utah. Prior to running for Congress, he was known only for his appearances on a cable news channel. That gave him celebrity status and name recognition. The good citizens of Utah cannot afford to be pawns in Burgess Owens’ cynical game. We have very serious issues impacting our state and we need someone who is serious about addressing them at the table. While Burgess Owens barnstorms across the United States building up his national profile and Super PAC, he doesn’t show up for constituents in his District. When he does, it’s only for photo-ops with organizations and businesses, regurgitating empty messages devoid of any real-world policies. For everyday Utahns, like you and me, he’s a no-show. Burgess Owens didn’t stand up to racism last night. He avoided accountability.

I’m running for Congress because we MUST have representation in Washington D.C to address issues involving the Great Salt Lake, maternal mortality, toxic dust in our air, energy, and so much more. We don’t have that right now. As long as we have a one-party delegation in Washington, Utah will be left behind. I will go to D.C and fight for every citizen of Utah and I will show up and be accountable to the constituents in Congressional District 4. Together, we can get important things done.

Darlene McDonald is a candidate for U.S. Congress in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.


I was disappointed for multiple reasons when the Utah state Legislature’s new district maps were announced. One reason was that I was no longer on Utah’s Fourth congressional district after many years of being there. And that was disappointing because it meant I would not be able to vote for an extraordinary, once-in-a-generation leader to represent us in the U.S. House of Representatives. So instead, I’m telling those who are in district four why they should consider voting for Darlene McDonald.

“From the cradle to the grave.”  This is the message of Darlene McDonald, who is running to represent Utah’s 4th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. You’ll notice these words on her website, her campaign literature and when she speaks. McDonald is running to improve the well-being of all people — at every stage of life.

Health care is one of her core issues, and maternity health is front and center. A young mother and wife, McDonald’s life took an unexpected turn when she gave birth to twin boys, born 11 weeks premature. McDonald often speaks of this experience, which taught her the value of quality health care and support. 

Letter: Conservative wing of the Supreme Court got it wrong. And Kansas voters made that clear.

Contrary to popular belief, abortions did not begin in the United States with the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision. Before 1973, illegal abortions were performed in back alleys, hotel rooms, and in the homes of unlicensed abortionists with no medical training. Pregnant women seeking the illegal procedure were often subjected to unsanitary conditions, extortion and sexual abuse. Many of them died.

In March 2019, Sen. Mike Lee took to the Senate floor and mocked Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the Green New Deal legislation. Lee said, “The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution … the solution to so many of our problems at all times and in all places is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids.”

Fast-forward just three years, Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez may have had the last laugh. Except, what’s happening with the Great Salt Lake is no laughing matter.

Statement on Roe v Wade

Statement on Roe v Wade

Losing a child is a traumatic event. I know what it’s like to lose a child. I’ve also enjoyed the pleasure of watching my surviving children grow into adults. The decision to become a parent is a deeply personal one. The decision to not parent a child is also personal...

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