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Utah Democrats hold caucuses, but big decision left for later

Mar 23, 2022, 1:17 PM | Updated: Apr 20, 2022, 8:52 am

Utah Democrats hold caucuses...

Democrats gather for a neighborhood caucus meeting at Shadow Valley Elementary School in Ogden. Photo courtesy of the Utah Democratic Party.

Sound up for live discussion on Dave and Dujanovic with Ben McAdams — Topic: Utah Democrat’s strategy in the race against Sen. Mike Lee.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Democrats held neighborhood caucuses across the state Tuesday night, electing delegates to county and state conventions.

In upcoming conventions, delegates will have to decide whether the party should nominate its own candidate to oppose Republican Sen. Mike Lee, or whether to endorse the independent candidacy of Evan McMullin.

Party Chair Diane Lewis said she was pleased with the turnout.

“Even in our outlying areas, up in Cache Valley, we had over 50 participants, and it was awesome to see that,” Lewis told KSL Newsradio.

Thom DeSirant, the party’s executive director, said they ran out of supplies in Utah County because more voters turned out than expected.

DeSirant said many rural counties held their caucuses remotely because it would be a long drive for some voters.

Scott Howell, twice nominated as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, said a lot of the delegates at the Olympus High School were glad to see each other after so many virtual meetings during the pandemic. And he said there wasn’t a lot of discussion of the Senate race.

“The conversation that I heard was, anybody but Mike Lee,” Howell told KSL NewsRadio.

“The Democratic nominee, Kael Weston, had a surrogate speaker there and did a nice job of presenting,” Howell said, “and there was nothing else said about it by anybody.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jenny Wilson and former Congressman Ben McAdams have urged Democrats to forego nominating a candidate for the Senate this year in the hope that McMullin will have a strong enough candidacy to defeat Mike Lee.

Democrats will hold their county conventions over the next several weeks, with the state convention set for April 23.

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Utah Democrats hold caucuses, but big decision left for later