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Politics & Government

Special Election: Jim Dabakis Wins Utah 2nd Senate District Seat

With 67 votes in the second round of voting, Utah’s Democratic Party Chairman, Jim Dabakis, narrowly beat outgoing Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon in the special election for Utah’s 2nd Senate district. Dabakis will replace Senator Ben McAdams who is leaving with two years left in his term after winning the election for Salt Lake County Mayor.

Before the second voting round each candidate made their case to the group of delegates gathered in the Salt Lake County Council chambers. Corroon praised Dabakis in his speech but also said that’s a good reason why he shouldn’t get elected.

“He’s doing a great job where he is," Corroon said. "I don’t want to see him less effective because he’s trying to serve two masters. I think ultimately that can hurt us as democrats.”

But in the end that argument fell flat as Dabakis received endorsements from 2 of the losing candidates and Congressman Jim Matheson. Dabakis will now work as both a Senator and the Democratic Party Chair. He says he’s looking forward to adding the word Senator before his name and hopes that it helps him speak out more effectively for progressive causes.

"I will be able to speak out on progressive issues," Dabakis said. "It doesn’t mean legislation is going to follow but there are ideas that ought to be included in the marketplace of ideas in the legislature and I’ll work to get those ideas out."

More than 125 or the 152 delegates in Utah’s 2nd Senate District participated in the election. 

Update 4:00 pm: 

Jim Dabakis wins with 67 votes. Peter Corroon receives 61. Full story to come shortly.

Update 3:00 pm:

Peter Corroon and Jim Dabakis make it to second round of voting. Peter Corroon receives an endorsement from Jenny Wilson and Jim Dabakis receives an endorsement from Brian Doughty, Richard Comstock, and Congressman Jim Matheson.

130 of the 154 2nd district delegates voted. The breakdown for each candidate is:

Jim Dabakis: 48

Peter Corroon: 36

Jenny Wilson: 29

Brian Doughty: 12

Richard Comstock: 4


The Utah Democratic Party is holding a special election to replace Senator Ben McAdams after he won his election bid for Salt Lake County Mayor. 

The Democratic delegates in Utah's 2nd Senate District are meeting in the Salt Lake County chamber this afternoon to vote between the following candidates:

Will Carlson

Robert Comstock

Peter Corroon (Outgoing Salt Lake County Mayor)

Jim Dabakis (Current Utah Democratic Party Chair)

Brian Doughty

Jon Watkins

Jenny Wilson

There will be a first round of voting to see if any of the candidates can reach 60% of the vote. If no single candidate reaches that threshold the two candidates with the most votes will go into a second round of voting. A simple majority will win the second round.

We'll keep you updated throughout the afternoon with results from the voting. 

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