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Birthdate: May 29, 1958
Birth Place: Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Residence: Sandy , UT
Jay Seegmiller was born in Salt Lake City, and currently resides in Sandy. His family roots in Utah go back to days when his great-great grandfather was mayor of Richfield and served in the territory legislature. He attended the University of Utah.
Seegmiller joined the Union Pacific Railroad in 1976, working as a brakeman, conductor and yardmaster. He currently works as an Amtrak conductor on passenger runs each week from Salt Lake City to Winnemucca, Nev., and Grand Junction, Colo.
He is active in the United Transportation Union, representing members in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico as local chairperson. He serves as legislative representative for the UTU's Amtrak Local 166.
Seegmiller was elected to the Utah Legislature in 2008, serving one term.
Seegmiller and his wife, Michelle, have four children.
Jay Seegmiller is running for Utah's new 2nd Congressional District, which sprawls across much of western and southern Utah including St. George. He faces Republican newcomer Chris Stewart in the November 2012 general election.
Seegmiller said his race for Congress is being overshadowed by the race in neighboring 4th Congressional District, where incumbent Rep. Jim Matheson, is fending off a challenger from a Republican with star power. Mia Love is mayor of Saratoga Springs and a darling of Republicans and tea party supporters.
"That's the race grabbing all the attention and sucking the air out of everything," Seegmiller said.
Seegmiller says jobs are his first priority. He believes that it is necessary to make the business climate friendlier to allow jobs to be brought home from overseas. He favors incentives for job creation at home and lowering the corporate tax rate.
Regarding education, Seegmiller says No Child Left Behind needs to be significantly reformed. He believes that student growth needs to be measured over time and not on the basis of a single test. Additionally, he believes the approach of punishing low performing schools is counterproductive; he says those schools often need the most resources.
Seegmiller won an upset election in 2008 when he toppled powerful state House Speaker Greg Curtis in his Sandy district, serving one term in the Legislature.
Many voters were unhappy with Curtis over his support for a professional soccer stadium in Sandy and a private school voucher program that voters ultimately killed. Seegmiller's win was a huge victory for Democrats. Curtis had served as House speaker for four years and would have been a clear favorite to keep the position.
"It was the third time I had run, and I knocked on every door at least three times," Seegmiller said. "I think people were anxious for someone who would actually respond to them."
Four years earlier, Curtis only narrowly held Seegmiller at bay with a 20-vote victory.
Seegmiller lost his Utah House seat to another Republican after a single term in 2010.
"It was not a good year for Democrats," he said.
Source: Associated Press
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