Zach Jacob, Council Member, District 3 and candidate for West Jordan City Mayor

Hillary Koellner- “So Zach, before I ask why you decided to run for West Jordan City Mayor, I want to ask what got you politically involved first, was city council your first active election process?”

Zach Jacob- “When I was a little kid, I grew up in a very politically interested family, none of my family members ran for office, but were always very interested. I ran as a state delegate in 2012 and got to meet candidates in my congressional districts like Mia Love and I also met Orrin Hatch, so all these political rock stars who I idolized and I got to see that they were just regular people. It’s like if you grow up in a sports fanatic family and when you meet them and think, I can beat these guys and that’s how I thought and what got me curious. Later I was in a meeting with Mia love after the first time she ran and didn’t succeed, but put so much effort and I told her that I needed to get more involved so she said you should run for city council.”

Hillary Koellner- “Oh wow, well that must of been very interesting to hear that from another already recognized elected official. Can you share a little bit about your experience with campaigning for city council? What’s something that surprised you?”

Zach Jacob- ”I ran twice, in 2013 in which I just barely lost the primary and in 2015 when I was very successful. What was the most surprising was how much time campaigning takes. After elections, I saw a couple of hundred bucks in the campaign account and I saw that I had only lost by 85 votes and thought, that I could’ve done even more to utilize that and truly get those votes.”

Hillary Koellner- “And what did your family say after you told them that you wanted to run for office?”

Zach Jacob- “I don’t think anybody was surprised, for the most part there was a little of negotiating and compromising but mostly they were all supportive. My kids kind of think is cool, they think of their dad as if he’s famous, but I’m really not, it’s fun to see their liking of it all though.

Hillary Koellner- “How old are your kids and were they and are they involved with the campaigns?”

Zach Jacob- “I have a 10, 14 and a 16 year old. During my campaign my 16-year-old, who was 14 at the time, called herself my campaign manager, which was an honorary term. They all helped get signs out, door hangers and walked neighborhoods. During my first campaign my 16 year old, 12 at the time, recorded a robo-call for me that said why you should vote for my dad.”

Hillary Koellner- “That is so sweet, do you think she’ll be doing that again now as a teenager?”

Zach Jacob- “(laughing) I don’t know, I’m curious if she would.”

Hillary Koellner- “What differences do you see now on your campaign for Mayor in comparison to your campaign for city council?”

Zach Jacob- “It’s a lot more intense because it’s city wide, it’s also very similar in a lot of ways, but the field is a lot more competitive. Last election my opponent didn’t do a lot of campaigning and this time it’s a five-way race and everyone is out there and intense and I’m a lot less self assured.”

Hillary Koellner- “Zach, now having experienced two campaigns, being part of city council and now having your campaign for mayor, how have you and still handle negative social media comments, emails, letters or phone calls? Especially on the various social media sites, how do you deal with the so called trolls?”

Zach Jacob- “The way i look at it, everyone has their right to express their rights and opinions and they all deserve to be heard. So, I don’t see someone as a troll type, unless their mind is already made up and they are asking questions to make you look bad. I try to respond to everyone who comments and emails. Even if they ask my opinion on non-city issues, I will respond. I got a question in regard to me representing the city in one area and that this citizen who lives in the complete opposite end of city wanted to know how I could represent them as mayor, but my answer and reality is that as a city council member, I know that every vote counts on city wide decisions, even if they aren’t specific to my district, so as mayor i will still represent everyone in the city.”

Hillary Koellner- “So what was it that motivated you to run for mayor rather than city council re-election?”

Zach Jacob- “Well my term is not over on the council, so even if I lose I still have two more years of my term, but I wasn’t planning on running for mayor this year. People kept asking if I was running, people from surprising directions and people I didn’t really expect, even after other people had already established they would run. As a I talked to my family we came to the decision that there was no perfect time and as I looked at the candidates at the time, I didn’t see someone to go behind and thought the time is now.”

Hillary Koellner- “Zach, do you believe that a single person can change the system? Whether this is city wide, state wide or nationally.”

Zach Jacob- “Possibly, it kind of depends, it’s a loaded question. I think one person can make a significant change, especially if they have the skills to work with others. The form of government of the city is that it takes 4 votes on the council to support you, or three others besides yourself. Even as mayor, so you can’t just dictate, but if you can convince others then you can make a change. I believe one person can absolutely make the change.”

Hillary Koellner- “Now going back to before you even thought about running for anything, can you share with us what your first job was, perhaps as a kid or a teenager, but the first time you actually got paid for your work and what that taught you?”

Zach Jacob- “My first job i was in 7th grade and I was the paperboy in a small California town where I grew up. I learned that nobody was going to pay me for not working, I actually had to go out and do it. In those days, the paperboy had to collect the money door to door for the papers they delivered and I knew I had to go get it.”

Hillary Koellner- “You mentioned you grew up in California, when did you move to Utah?”

Zach Jacob- “My family moved to Utah when I was in high school. I was in California until i was 15, i moved to Utah in 10th grade. So, I guess I didn’t actually grow up to adulthood there, but spent most of my childhood in California.”

Hillary Koellner- “Oh okay, and having spent much of your early life in California, what pushed you to stay in Utah after graduating high school?”

Zach Jacob- “I got married to a Utah girl, that helped, but that’s not really what did it. I’ve been back to California a couple of times, had a lot of friends and things. Utah just always kind of felt like home. On our vacations as a kid we came here because of all our family, so when we moved it was like we were moving back, not really moving away.”

Hillary Koellner- “Well it looks like moving was definitely the right thing to do. Now, could you think of a time that you failed at something? Whether it was a big or small failure, but one that really taught you something valuable.”

Zach Jacob- ”That first campaign in 2013, I definitely learned the value of working for what you want. I lost by 85 votes in the primary and I was running as a very unknown candidate and it taught me the value of having to work for it, just like the paper route I did when I was 12. Not succeeding that time showed me what I needed to do better and that I needed to work harder, then in 2015 i won by quite a bit.”

Hillary Koellner- “As an elected official, I’m sure you keep up on current news. What kind of newspapers or magazines do you read and how would you say that they shape your view of the community and what’s going on in the world?”

Zach Jacob- ”Most of my news I get in periodicals online. The articles come from everywhere. From local news I look at KSL, Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune. For national news. I read from CNN, Fox News and all major news outlets. I read bicycles magazines, runner’s world- if I read it more I might run more, that might be a good thing haha. But how they shape me, it keeps me informed of what’s going in the world.”

Hillary Koellner- ”Lastly Zach, what is one thing you would want voters to know about you?”

Zach Jacob- ”That I am very passionate about our country and our representative democracy, if you will, as far of the freedoms that we enjoy and that our government really is by the people. I’ve seen neighborhoods who oppose at a city council hearing and I see council members still oppose to what they citizens want and I scratched my head…. isn’t that we are here to represent what the people want? I believe the people should be in charge. It really is a passion of mine to see the principles our founding fathers had in the constitution and independence and to see those play out even in the city level.”

For more information about Zach you can go to www.ZachJacob.vote

By Hillary Koellner

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