• Conservative Leadership in Senate District 8

Where I Stand On The Issues

Air Quality

As a family doc, I care for people every day who suffer from the effects of poor air 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: I have solar panels, a high-efficiency water heater, and I drive an electric car.


The success of every state lies in the education of its youth. Parents’ roles and choices are vital, and I respect their right to choose what is best for their children. Formal learning can take place in public or private schools.

Growing up and going to a Title I school for low-income households, my orchestra teacher believed in me. A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, and touches a heart. We need to pay them well, as we trust them with schooling our precious children.

As your State Senator, I will strive to make sure our education dollars are used wisely, and push for increased funding for classroom supplies, smaller classrooms, and upgrades to outdated physical facilities.

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.

Jobs & Prosperity

My duty as a doctor evolved from employee to employer, as I learned that I could do a better job caring for the sick when I didn’t have to answer to the pencil pushers. My medical clinic flourished, providing jobs for many families. Running a business can be grueling but also worthwhile, knowing you can make a difference by serving others with compassion and excellence.

 A positive work ethic, a high quality of life, and a well-trained work force help Utah compete with other states. One role of government is to remove barriers that make it hard for businesses to compete. As a legislator, I will push to further cut red tape that hampers the growth of jobs in Utah. As we lower taxes, businesses will be able to invest in further growth and our cities will increasingly prosper. I am confident that the best is yet to come.

Opioids and Medical Cannabis

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

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 if we treat it like medicine. We need to change cannabis from a Schedule I illicit drug list so that better research can take place. Cannabidiol oils work – let’s use them wisely to heal those in need.


Married to my sweetheart Jean, we have three children: Breanna, Keith, and Lauren. I am an avid trail runner, bridge player, church goer, and homemade apple pie eater.

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.



Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been a dry, hot summer and the fires keep burning. I’m so grateful for the brave women and men fighting to keep our state safe. They work to make our families and homes safe while we continue to lead our lives in a relatively normal fashion. Here on Capitol Hill last week, the legislature met for our interim session. Various committees convened to discuss the many issues facing our communities. Included here are a few of the points of discussion from those committee meetings.

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“When Brian Zehnder ran for the vacant senate seat, he was not my first or second choice. However, I attended a meeting at Midvale City Hall with him prior to the caucus and was quite impressed. With very little time from his election to the start of the legislative session he performed amazingly well. He is the only medical doctor in the senate and was able to sponsor and refine bills that were within the area of his expertise. He also rapidly formed relationships with other senators to get the understanding he needed to represent us properly in his voting. He is also ready to oppose his peer group when the issue being discussed is not in our best interest or the interest of the cities in which we live. I will be supporting him in the coming election.”

David Olsen



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