Utah Women Run, affiliated with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, announced the inaugural Martha Hughes Cannon Award recipients and nominees. The awards ceremony was held Friday, Nov. 3, and recognized women who have made significant contributions to Utah’s political landscape.
The Martha Hughes Cannon Award is named after the first woman elected to a state senate in the United States. Martha Hughes Cannon was an immigrant, a physician, and a suffragist who championed public health. She famously ran against and defeated her husband to win her seat. The award honors women who continue this legacy by striving to do good in their communities and going above and beyond to make an impact on Utah’s political landscape.
The recipients of the Martha Hughes Cannon Award are:
- Allyson Bell, Chief of Staff to Senator Mike Lee, for Outstanding Impact in the Republican Party
- Luz Escamilla, Minority Leader in the Utah State Senate, for Outstanding Impact in the Democratic Party
- Dawn Ramsey, Mayor of the City of South Jordan, for Outstanding Impact in Local Government
- Nubia Peña, Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs, for Exceptional Work in Policy and Advocacy
- Becky Edwards, for Lifetime Achievement
The nominees for the Outstanding Impact in the Republican Party Award were Kelsey Berg, former deputy chief of staff to Senator Mitt Romney and currently the VP of Government Relations for the Larry H Miller Company; Julie King, member of the Alpine School District; and Allyson Bell, chief of staff to Senator Mike Lee.
The nominees for the Outstanding Impact in the Democratic Party Award were former Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Representative Gay Lynn Bennion, and Senator Luz Escamilla.
The nominees for the Outstanding Impact in Local Government Award were South Jordan Mayor Dawn Ramsey, Ogden School District Member Arlene Anderson, and Ogden City Councilwoman Marcia White.
The nominees for the Exceptional Work in Policy and Advocacy Award were Nubia Peña, Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs; Gina Cornia, Director of Utahns Against Hunger; and Katie Wright, Executive Director of Better Boundaries.
“We are thrilled to recognize these women for their outstanding contributions to Utah’s political landscape,” said Melanie Hall, Board Chair of Utah Women Run. “Their dedication to public service and advocacy is inspiring, and we hope this award will encourage more women to get involved in politics.”
The Martha Hughes Cannon Awards ceremony was attended by members of the community, political leaders, and organizations that support women in politics.
ABOUT UTAH WOMEN RUN
Utah Women Run is a collaborative nonpartisan initiative to empower and train women to participate fully in public life through political office and campaigns at all levels, issue advocacy, service on boards and commissions, and leadership in their communities. We are hosted by the Hinckley Institute of Politics, the University of Utah’s destination for civic engagement and political expertise.
Whether you’re just looking to engage more in politics, or beginning your journey to run for office, Utah Women Run is here to help you make that happen. Utah Women Run offers training around campaigning, fundraising, canvassing, and more. It takes a team to make a campaign a success, and we’re proud to be part of yours.