Democratic State Senator Luz Robles says she’s planning to run against Republican incumbent Chris Stewart for Utah’s 2nd Congressional district seat in 2014.
Democratic State Senator Luz Robles is no stranger to politics. She’s been a member of the Utah Legislature representing the west side of Salt Lake City since 2008. Before that, she served in the state office of Ethnic Affairs under Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. Robles says she understands that, as a Democrat, winning the 2nd district seat will be an uphill battle. But she also believes she can do a better job than Republican Chris Stewart at representing that area.
“I’m not an extreme person and I think that’s going to be appealing as well," she says. "People are tired of the extreme sides and that’s why it’s exciting as well, you know, that I consider myself in the middle, where most Utahns are, and will continue to push that message.”
Republicans redrew district boundaries in 2010. The 2nd district now includes the northern portion of Salt Lake City, part of the western border between Utah and Nevada and contains St. George in the southern part of the state. It’s an interesting mix of both urban and rural communities. Tim Chambliss of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah says even though the district has been drawn specifically to favor Republicans, he believes Robles still has a real chance of being extremely competitive.
“Well, it comes down to turnout. It comes down to who votes," he says. "If she can get the voters of her district excited, as she has as a Senator from the west side of Salt Lake City, then, yes, she can win.”
The last Democrat to win in the 2nd district was Jim Matheson, who switched to Utah’s 4th district in 2012 after redistricting.