Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and new Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez will be making a stop in Utah next week as the Democrats try to capitalize on a resurgent grassroots activism among the left.
The DNC is billing the event as the “Come Together and Fight Back” tour. The rallies will feature the former presidential candidate and DNC chair traveling to nine “red” and “purple” states beginning next week.
That will include a stop in “red” Utah, tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 21, at a yet-to-be-announced location, according to sources.
Peter Corroon, chair of the Utah Democratic Party, says the tour is a way of putting to rest some lingering tension between the Democratic Party and its more progressive caucus that backed Sanders.
“Having DNC Chair Tom Perez and Sen. Bernie Sanders coming together sends the message that they are unified, and that the different camps of people and their supporters need to be unified as well because we’re all here to fight for the same cause,” he says.
It’s also a nod to a growing movement of progressive and liberal activists — informally known as “The Resistance” — who Corroon says the DNC would like to keep active up until the next election.
“We don’t want to lose that energy because the next election is 2018; we’re still in 2017,” says Corroon. “We need to capture that energy and keep people involved in the party.”
For his part, Corroon says the state party will start recruiting candidates earlier than usual after receiving record interest from people wanting to run for office.
A recent candidate interest meeting attracted more than 200 people, far above the usual 10 to 20, according to Corroon.
The Utah Democratic Party will also hold elections this summer to bring in a whole new slate of officers to lead the party into the midterms, including a new chair.