Utah Democratic Party

Dan Bammes

  Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening.  The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.

One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City.  The margin was just 47 votes.  Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.

The Utah Debate Commission has finalized the list of who will be participating in this year’s mid-term election debates and the list only includes Republicans and Democrats.

Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah Democratic Party are unhappy with the timing of Republican State Senator John Valentine’s resignation.

Brian Grimmett

The latest state financial disclosure reports show that the Utah Democratic Party has a lot more money than the Utah GOP. That difference could mean something for the upcoming election.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Image from DonkeyHotey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/

State Republican and Democratic Party Caucuses are this week. People will gather in neighborhoods across Utah to discuss candidates and issues and to elect their neighborhood delegate. Tuesday is the Democratic Party Caucus. Republicans meet on Thursday. Anna Thompson is the Communications Director for the Democratic Party. She says this is the smallest organizing unit in any election, so it’s very important for everyone to become involved.

Women top the leadership of both parties in Utah’s House of Representatives. But that’s going to change next year. Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake, announced she’s stepping down as leader of the House Democrats. Like House Speaker Becky Lockhart, Seelig is the first woman in Utah’s history to hold her post. She says serving in the Legislature has been an education in juggling and she’s ready to focus once again on her personal goals.

A bill that would force political parties in Utah to change the current caucus and primary system cleared a hurdle in a Senate committee on Friday.  SB 54 would mandate that parties raise the threshold for office nominations to 65 percent of the delegate vote – up from 60 percent.  It would force parties to allow absentee voting at neighborhood caucus meetings and state party conventions.

Brian Grimmett

Leaders of the Utah Democratic Party are calling on Governor Gary Herbert to hold a special election to replace Attorney General John Swallow, instead of appointing the replacement himself. But, there might not be a legal path for what the Democrats want.

Courtesy of the Utah Democratic Party

This week, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean attended two rallies in Utah in an effort to get more voters to register as Democrats.  The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee says he’s not discouraged by the numbers: only 25% of voters in Utah cast ballots as Democrats.  KUER’s Terry Gildea sat down with Dean to talk about the challenges of cultivating Democrats in a red state and about his own political future.  

Former Vermont Governor and presidential hopeful Howard Dean will be in Utah today hoping to motivate Democrats more than a year ahead of midterm elections. KUER’s Terry Gildea reports.

Dean served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. His visit to Utah on Monday isn’t under the official banner of the party, but he does hope to get grassroots volunteers excited about recruiting more Democratic voters in a state many believe to be held strongly by Republicans.

Dan Bammes

  Utah Democrats hold their state party convention Saturday in Ogden.  Like the Republicans, they’ll be looking at whether to change Utah’s caucus-convention system for nominating candidates.

Under the current system, voters choose delegates in neighborhood caucuses.  Candidates can avoid a primary election if 60% of those delegates support them in state or county conventions.

Terry Gildea

Six Democratic candidates hoping to fill a vacant state senate seat met in a debate last night organized by the Alliance for a Better Utah.  The seat in Senate district 2 is left open by Ben McAdams who was elected the Salt Lake County Mayor earlier this month. 

Utah’s Democratic Party appeals a nearly $15,000 records fee, the Southern Nevada Water Authority threatens a lawsuit against Utah, and state health officials confirm the first human case of West Nile Virus.

Andrea Smardon

Two bins of documents related to Utah’s controversial redistricting process remain hidden from the public.  That’s mainly because Utah’s Democratic Party is refusing to pay thousands of dollars to let them go.  The legislature’s Records Committee put off a decision Monday on whether to waive the fee for the records request.  The committee decided it needs more information to determine whether the request primarily serves the public or the Democratic party.