Democrat Caroline Gleich appeals to 'girl dads' in campaign push ahead of Father's Day

A father and daughter embrace in a new political ad for Democratic Senate candidate Caroline Gleich.

A father and daughter embrace in a new political ad for Democratic Senate candidate Caroline Gleich. (Screenshot, Caroline Gleich campaign)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Democratic Senate candidate Caroline Gleich appealed to so-called "girl dads" in a campaign video for Father's Day, which touches on issues such as access to fertility treatments and housing affordability.

The video — titled "Dear Dad" — was shared exclusively with KSL.com and depicts three letters from daughters to their fathers urging them to support a candidate like Gleich.

"You told me to fight for freedom, but now the government is trying to take away my rights," one letter read.

"Even trying to ban IVF, which I might end up needing if you want grandkids — and I know how often you bring up grandkids," another read.

The mention of IVF is in response to a February court ruling in Alabama that said frozen embryos are legally considered children, halting treatment for couples in the state who sought to have children using the treatment. Gleich issued a statement shortly after, saying she chose to freeze embryos for "fertility preservation."

"When I heard about the ruling coming out of the Alabama Supreme Court — that embryos could now be treated as children — my heart broke," she said. "It broke for the clinics that had to stop offering IVF treatments. It broke for those patients and families currently undergoing treatment who had their cycles canceled. And selfishly, my heart broke for my future family."

Although the Alabama ruling created a nation firestorm around access to IVF, none of the Republican candidates seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate have expressed a desire to restrict the procedure. During Monday evening's GOP primary debate, Jason Walton and Brad Wilson said the federal government should not be involved in the issue; John Curtis and Trent Staggs said they would vote to protect IVF access at the federal level.

Gleich's ad is an attempt to appeal to voters who don't traditionally vote for Democrats. One of the letters said: "I'm not asking you to become a Democrat or even tell your golf buddies about this."

Her campaign pointed to a 2022 Fox News poll showing that fathers swung toward Democrats by 28 points following the overturning of Roe v. Wade — the landmark Supreme Court decision that guaranteed a right to an abortion — suggesting reproductive issues could be persuasive heading into the general election.

Gleich's campaign is also launching a "Dear Dad" project to coincide with the ad, asking women to write their fathers "about why they should vote for candidates like Caroline this November," according to a news release.

Gleich is a professional ski mountaineer and popular social media figure who hopes to be the first female U.S. senator from Utah. She is the Democratic nominee for the seat currently held by Sen. Mitt Romney and will face whoever wins the GOP primary on June 25.

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Bridger Beal-Cvetko covers Utah politics, Salt Lake County communities and breaking news for KSL.com. He is a graduate of Utah Valley University.

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