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Utah Democratic Party Announces Convention Results For Statewide Races

Online Democratic Party Convention
Emily Means/ KUER
Utah Democratic Party Chair Jeff Merchant announces the results of the statewide convention races through a Zoom call with candidates for governor and congressional races. The convention was held virtually through online caucus meetings and email voting.

Of the Utah Democratic party’s 2,203 delegates, 85% voted in the state’s convention Saturday afternoon. Utah Democratic Party Chair Jeff Merchant said that’s their highest involvement in modern history.  

“I don’t think it was simply because of the methods we used, in terms of the type of balloting we had,” Merchant said. “I also feel that Democrats across the state of Utah are hungry for change, and [Saturday] they really did speak out with a voice for that change in our state and in our country.”

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the state Democratic party cancelled the in-person aspect of its convention, which usually consists of hours of voting and speeches. Instead, the convention was moved online and delegates voted through email. Merchant called the process fast and efficient. 

Throughout the week, delegates participated in online caucus meetings and virtual candidate roundtables. Delegates also used ranked choice voting for races with three or more candidates.

In the race for governor, Chris Peterson won with 88.4% of the vote. He faced five challengers but will go straight to the general election because none of the other candidates qualified for the primary ballot through signature gathering. It’s been decades since Utahns elected a Democrat for governor and Peterson said he hopes his message appeals to moderate Republicans.

“We want to talk about using teamwork, scientific evidence and sound public policy to try to improve the lives of ordinary, working Utahns,” Peterson said.

Greg Skordas ran unopposed for attorney general. Skordas unsuccessfully ran for the same position in 2004, but now, he will head straight to the general election. 

For Congressional District 1, both Darren Parry and Jamie Cheek will be on the primary ballot this summer. Parry received 55.6% of votes, while Cheek received 44.4%. Neither of them got the required 60% to make them the party’s nominee for the general election. 

Kael Weston, running for the second congressional district, Devin Thorpe, Congressional District 3, and incumbent Congressman Ben McAdams, district four, will all advance straight to the general election. All three received more than 82% of votes. 

The statewide primary election is June 30and the general is Nov. 3. The election will be conducted by mail, with limited drive-up voting available, as a preventative measure against COVID-19. The registration deadline is June 19.

Emily Means covers politics for KUER. Follow Emily on Twitter @Em_Means13


Emily Means is a government and politics reporter at KUER.
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