• Conservative Leadership in Senate District 8

Where I Stand On The Issues

Economic Recovery & Public Health

COVID-19 attacked both our health AND our economy. As a business owner and medical doctor, I have the expertise to help put people back to work in a safe and healthy way. We will work with for cities and counties to double our economy in the next 10 years and keep them safe and healthy in the process.

There are currently no doctors in the Utah Senate. When it comes to your health, I think we all agree that we need at least one.

Taxes and Spending

We need to keep taxes minimal and simple. We must listen to the voice of voters as we consider any tax reform policies presented to our lawmakers. We have a modern economy that needs a modern tax code – but voters need to be involved in that process.

Our tax code should be reviewed annually by tax professionals in order to make changes that will benefit our citizens.


Let Teachers Teach. Utah teachers are the best in the nation. A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart. We need to let our teachers get back to doing what they love to do! Teachers know which students need additional help in the classroom. Instead of over-testing students, let us give teachers the resources they need to help students by providing more teacher aids and tutors.

Teacher Pay. Let us keep it simple: we need to increase the pay of our teachers, so we keep the best teachers in our classroom. Teaching cannot be a “secondary source of income” job. Teachers deserve to be paid well.

Degrees and Certificates. Not every young adult needs a bachelor’s degree. We need to invest in job training with certificates for technical expertise. There is dignity in all work.

Personal Story. You do not have to be a teacher to care about the education of our children. As a child who attended a Title I school, I know what it means to go without. To be hungry. To have limited access to books and supplies. My mother drove a school bus during the desegregation crisis of the 1970s near Detroit. I was a passenger on her bus to and from school every day, where I did my homework and got to know kids from other racial backgrounds and schools. Life events and early childhood mold us to the people we are today.

Mental Health

Mental illness is in Crisis. Utah families are suffering. Suicide is at an all-time high. We are #1 in the country for teenage suicide, and #51 in the country for mental health care for adults. Treatment services are underfunded. We to expand efforts made in the area of youth crisis intervention and suicide with the SafeUT mobile app. We must demystify suicide. Other changes needed include training more mental health care professionals, retooling for those who have recently lost their jobs to help those who are struggling.

We need to start in our schools. We can support parents and teachers by developing tools and programs to help them identify warning signs of mental illness and suicide.

Affordable Housing

Utah has more than 54,000 families in need of housing. Our supply is inadequate. This needs to change. We need to create unique solutions that shorten the housing gap and provide ways to decrease the financial burden on first-time home buyers and renters.

Affordable housing decreases intergenerational poverty and provides students a safe place to study and learn, thereby improving our education system.

Air Quality

As a family doc, I care for people every day who suffer from inversions, forest fires, ozone, and emissions. Seeing others being tied to oxygen tubing in their home motivates me to push for change. I support Tier 3 fuels, greater vehicle and factory efficiency, better forestry management, and early detection systems to spot fires.

We all need to do our share: our home has solar panels, a high-efficiency water heater, and we use the reusable energy to power an electric car.

Health Care

Everyone deserves a doctor who cares for them and their family. I care for people who suffer with depression, obesity, and chronic pain every day. Suicide breaks my heart. Opioids and marijuana pose difficult problems, and we need to assist doctors to “do no harm” by placing safeguards to “do it right” and protect the health and welfare of our citizens. I know these issues first hand, and see them played out every day. When the market is allowed to work, patients and providers focus on transparency and quality.

In addition to my practice, I used initiative, good “cents,” and a market-based system, and created a non-profit that works with other clinics and organizations to treat patients and improve access for people that cannot afford basic care. This unique model helps patients receive care in an appropriate setting at a lower cost.

I support having pharmaceutical companies spread the cost of drug research with other countries, reducing the high price inequity we face in America. I know what happens when government interferes too much. Fresh ideas with inventive solutions can make a big difference in solving even the most difficult health care problems we face in Utah.

Opioids and Medical Cannabis

Complex medical problems require the knowledge of at least one Physician in the Senate.

As a member of the Opioid Task Force, we need to help doctors “do it right” and “do no harm.” We need to help those in need using medication AND other treatments that do not cause addiction and death. We need treatment for those who want to escape addictions and assure that first responders can give medicine to prevent overdose.

We all want to help those who suffer, and cannabis has real benefit. We need to change cannabis from a Schedule I illicit drug list so that better research can take place. As a Qualified Medical Provider, we prescribe medical cannabis – let’s use it wisely to heal those in need.

Public Lands

My family loves our public lands. We camp and ski, and I run in the mountains almost every day.

With over two-thirds of Utah held as public land, we need more local and state involvement in decisions and management of these lands.

Unilateral decisions by our Presidents or federal bureaucrats who protect or unprotect lands cause undue angst and this needs to stop.

The Antiquities Act and the Endangered Species Act should be reformed to include state approvals and local involvement. Utah should be allowed to manage selected public lands when possible, initially on a pilot basis.

Utah can’t allow our dysfunctional federal government to play politics with our precious resources and wilderness.

Law Enforcement

As a community, we give law enforcement personnel significant power and authority. We need to ensure that that power is being wielded in a just and humane way, and that law enforcement personnel are held accountable to the communities they serve.

Greater transparency and accountability will also help to build greater trust and respect in the community for law enforcement personnel. Publicly available data about law enforcement activities will help us understand where systemic problems exist.

Governor Herbert

Governor Gary Herbert
Governor Gary Herbert Endorses Senator Zehnder

"Senator Brian Zehnder is a strong addition to the Utah State Senate. His work as a physician makes him uniquely qualified to help the State address difficult health care issues. Brian has already shown that he is hard-working and effective. I encourage your support of Utah State Senator Brian Zehnder." - Governor Gary Herbert

Racism: Social Connections plant seeds for Healing and Change

Racism: Social Connections plant seeds for Healing and Change

As a physician committed to healing and inclusion, it’s been painful to see sickness and injustice spread to pandemic levels.

Our cities have been ripped apart by incidents of violence and death. The entire nation has seen the recent deaths of George Floyd and others, plunging our nation into deeper division and polarization.

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“Senator Brian Zehnder has stepped in and done a wonderful job in the Utah State Senate this year. He is very thorough and thoughtful. He brings a great deal of expertise in the medical fields and he also brings a good dose of common sense. It has been a pleasure to work with him and I look forward to serving with him in the future. He cares deeply about the constituents in his senate district and represents them very well.”
Evan Vickers
Utah State Senator - District 28



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