Political news

LDS Democrats

LDS Democrats, the largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party has a launched a new billboard campaign aimed at Mormon swing-voters.

The billboards focus on education, poverty and LDS scripture. One billboard criticizes Utah’s position in the nation for per pupil spending in public education. It reads quote, “Our children deserve better than last place.” End quote.

One billboard states simply Mosiah 4, referring to the LDS scripture that State Representative and Mormon Democrat Brian King says highlights the churches’ focus on service, giving and reserving judgment. 

President Barack Obama committed U.S. support to fighting and pursuing members of the terrorist group ISIS during a nationally broadcast speech Wednesday night. Now candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district are responding to the speech.

Republican Representative Chris Stewart says while he wishes the president would have acted sooner, he’s relieved Obama has finally gotten serious about confronting the growth of ISIS.

Sen. Harry Reid's Name Removed from SUU Center

Sep 1, 2014
Asher Swan, SUUNews.com

  The name of U.S. Senator Harry Reid disappeared from a doorway at Southern Utah University last week, thanks in part to objections from community leaders in Cedar City.

Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada attended Southern Utah University as a young man, and he was pleased when SUU decided to name a campus program in his honor.  But no funds have been raised for the Harry Reid Center, so the program was merged with the existing Center for Outdoor Engagement.

  The Republican primary election for a seat on the Millard County Commission could be decided by the Utah Supreme Court.  State election officials are asking for a quick ruling in the case.

Election night returns on June 24th showed Jim Dyer defeating incumbent County Commissioner Jim Withers by one vote.  But the official canvass a few weeks later gave Withers the victory by five votes.  Dyer then sued Withers in 4th District Court to challenge the results of the election.  But Mark Thomas, who oversees elections in the lieutenant governor’s office, says that was a mistake.

Bob Weston

  The state of Utah may intervene in a lawsuit challenging the results of a primary election in Millard County.  A court decision last Friday raises a number of issues that aren’t addressed by Utah’s current law.

The initial count of votes in the June 24th Republican primary for a seat on the Millard County Commission showed the incumbent candidate, James Withers, losing to Jim Dyer by one vote.  A second count showed Withers winning by five votes.

Courtesy: / Donna McAleer

The democratic challenger vying for Utah’s 1st district congressional seat hopes two big endorsements will help her unseat the incumbent in November. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports.

Brian Grimmett

Alliance for a Better UTAH has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, asking the FEC to investigate allegations that Utah Senator Mike Lee violated election laws.

Brian Grimmett

Democratic Utah Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont officially launched his campaign today with a call for real reform in the office.

Charles Stormont says as a recent employee in the Attorney General’s office he can say with confidence that Sean Reyes hasn’t done enough to fix the problems in the office left over from former AG John Swallow.

AG Sean Reyes Reorganizes Office

May 27, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes has reorganized several positions in his office over the past month, including demoting several Division Chiefs. 

Bob Nelson

Republican US Senator Orrin Hatch delivered the keynote address for the Memorial Day celebration in Woods Cross Monday. Senator Hatch stepped to the podium following the Woods Cross Men’s Chorus singing a song Hatch co-wrote with Janice Kapp-Perry called “I Love Old Glory.” He recalled his emotions while standing at the grave site of General George Patton in Luxembourg where 5-thousand American soldiers are buried.

Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis is leading an effort to salvage the financial future of the Salt Lake Tribune and next month he’ll be taking his message to Washington, DC. 

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah’s 4th Congressional District race is expected to be one of the hottest in the November elections, and the top candidates met Tuesday for their first debate at a Utah Taxpayers Association conference.

State Representative David E. Lifferth is publicly apologizing for saying the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a racist organization. The Utah County Republican made his initial remarks on Twitter, then used his blog late Thursday to make his apology and announce he had deleted the offensive tweets.  In his statement he called his tweets a joke and said they were insensitive to others.

S.J. Quinney School of Law / University of Utah

The conversation about race has heated up this week in Utah and throughout the nation.

Civil Rights expert Emily Chiang, associate professor at the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law, says it’s a sign that America still isn’t the color-blind society many claim it is.

Chiang runs the law school’s civil rights clinic, and she says people are talking about race so much because they’re conflicted about it.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah Democrats in the 4th Congressional District chose Doug Owens  to run against Republican Mia Love.

Owens says he’s ready to take on Love in November. The 4th District already knows Mia Love from her 2012 race against Democrat Jim Matheson, who’s retiring after this term. Owens contends his Republican opponent is courting the national GOP, while his views are more in line with 4th District voters.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Democrats had a convention contest to see who would would get the chance to try unseating Republican Congressman Rob Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.

And now Donna McAleer is looking forward to a rematch against Bishop. She said she’s got much more ammunition against the incumbent in the two years since their last faceoff. McAleer says congressional bickering and Bishop’s role in the government shutdown last fall are good campaign issues in the 1st District.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah Congressman Christ Stewart will face Democrat Luz Robles in the upcoming November election. Robles had no Democratic competitors for the District 2 nomination, leaving her free to focus on her Republican opponent. 

At the convention, Luz Robles acknowledged that running for Congress as a working mother, a state senator, and a Democrat would be an uphill battle.

Utah Democrats Choose Peter Corroon for Party Chair

Apr 26, 2014
Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah Democrats elected former Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon as their new party chair over the weekend. Both Corroon and his opponent Richard Davis emphasized the need to recruit more Democrats outside of Salt Lake valley.

BYU political science professor Richard Davis was chair of the Democratic Party in conservative stronghold Utah County for four years.

GOP delegates passed a resolution at Saturday’s state convention to defend the caucus and convention system. The issue likely forced one incumbent Senator into a primary election.

By a show of hands, delegates opposed changes the state legislature made this year to the nominating process – a compromise between supporters of the Count My Vote initiative, who want a direct primary election and backers of the caucus and convention system. But delegates like Michael Willson, say it violates the right of the party to exercise political speech.

Congressmen Bishop, Stewart Win GOP Nominations

Apr 26, 2014
Dan Bammes

  The Republicans who represent Utah’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts easily won their party’s nominations at Saturday’s state convention.

Congressman Rob Bishop is running for a seventh term.  He says his ambition is to stay there.

“I have never seriously wanted to be a U.S. Senator," Bishop told convention delegates.  Because I am committed to the House.  I am invested in the House.  I want to be effective in the House.  The only problem is, that means every two years I have to come and ask you for your vote again.”

Software engineer Brian Wonnacott ran unopposed for the Democratic seat in the 3rd Congressional District against Republican incumbent Jason Chaffetz Saturday. The avid outdoorsman says he regularly climbs Mount Olympus and Grandeur Peak. In asking delegates for their vote, Wonnacott expressed his realistic view of his campaign.

“I’ve climbed Mt. Rainier and Kilimanjaro and now I hope to climb the highest mountain of all, the bureaucracy of the US Government,” say Wonnacott.

Judy Fahys

Charles Stormont will be the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. He’s been working in the Attorney General’s office since 2008. He ran uncontested at the Democratic Convention. Following an impassioned nomination speech by Representative Patrice Arent, Stormont declared his stand against Amendment 3.

“It is time for an attorney general who will not play politics with Utah families,” says Stormont.

He says he doesn’t question the character of his opponent, Sean Reyes.

Mia Love Wins GOP 4th Congressional District Race

Apr 26, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Former Saratoga Springs mayor Mia Love won the state Republican nomination for Utah’s 4th congressional district.

Utah AG Sean Reyes Accepts GOP Nomination

Apr 26, 2014
Brian Grimmett

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes will be the Republican nominee in the special election to replace former AG John Swallow. Reyes was the only republican candidate running. He has been working as the AG since January when Governor Herbert appointed him to replace Swallow. At the GOP state convention on Saturday, Reyes reaffirmed his commitment to fighting for Utah’s Amendment 3.

Brian Grimmett/KUER

On Saturday, Republicans and Democrats across Utah will gather at state party conventions to nominate candidates for the mid-term elections. But one party will also be choosing a new leader.  Jim Dabakis  ended his nearly three year tenure as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party last month. The veteran politician sat down with KUER's Terry Gildea and reflected on his experience leading Utah's minority party.

Davis County Will Vote by Mail

Apr 22, 2014
Davis County Clerk-Auditor

  Davis County is trying a vote-by-mail system for the primary election this spring and the general election in the fall.

Voters in Davis County received letters last week telling them about the changes.  Election Manager Brian McKenzie says ballot packets will be mailed out 28 days before each election.  When they come back, they’ll be verified using a bar code and by comparing the voter’s signature to their registration forms.

Ken Rudin's Political Junkie returns to KUER on Friday April 18th!  

Ken Rudin brings his trademark knowledge of American history and politics to a weekly sit-down with journalists, pundits and politicians – and invites listeners to show off their political trivia skills. Tune in Fridays during Morning Edition at 8:50 and in All Things Considered at 5:50 here on KUER.

Brian Grimmett

On final day to approve bills passed by the Utah Legislature, Governor Gary Herbert vetoed HB414, which would have given the legislature the final say on challenges to legislative subpoenas.

Former Salt Lake County Mayor and Gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon says he’s considering running to be chairman of the Utah Democratic Party. Corroon hasn’t been heavily involved in politics for almost two years. And while he says he hasn’t made a final decision on whether or not to run for State Democratic Party Chair, he says it’s a position that definitely piques his interest.

Brian Grimmett

The chairman of the Utah Democratic party is stepping down from the position he’s held for nearly three years.

Jim Dabakis says he’s resigning to deal with an undisclosed medical condition. But he says the move also frees him to be a stronger advocate for progressive causes. 

“As a party chair, I often felt constrained about what I would say,” Dabakis explains, “and what I could say not wanting to hold candidates from the rural parts of the state to a flaming progressive agenda.”