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Democrats will rally on Main Street

Parkite Hilary Reiter wants to make Utah less red. So tonight the 33-year-old Democrat organized a barroom gathering for politicians in Park City.

"We’re really just trying to get younger people excited and more educated about the election particularly from the Democratic standpoint," Reiter said in a telephone interview. "I was at a dinner last night with a whole group of friends and everyone was talking politics, and you don’t often see that with people in their late 20s and early 30s."

Those in attendance can beat an October deadline by registering to vote at the event, she said.

"That includes anyone who is new to town or just moved to a different address," Reiter said.

Republican candidates can’t participate in the forum but Reiter invited Democrats who are vying for Statehouse and Summit County Council seats.

"Each of the candidates will speak about issues that are generally of concern to younger folks in town like open space and affordable housing," Reiter said.

Admission is free and representatives from Barack Obama’s campaign will have swag touting their presidential contender on hand tonight at The Spur Bar and Grill in Park City, Reiter said.

Reiter expects more young people to vote Nov. 4 than who came out in 2004 to oppose President George Bush against Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

"I don’t think Kerry had that appeal for younger voters like Obama does," Reiter said. "He speaks to them and he is somebody who they can relate to. I don’t think younger people could relate to Kerry."

Summit County Republican Party Chairman David Ure agreed but claimed young people will not go to the polls in great numbers in November.

"It’s a proven fact that the older you are the higher chance you have of voting," Ure said Tuesday. "Eighteen-year-olds, 20-year-olds, 23-year-olds, unless they have served in the armed forces, have never sacrificed for their country."

Ure joked that he is praying for a snowstorm on Election Day.

"Because then only those who really have respect for the process will show up," Ure said. "That’s what’s happened for decades here in this country."

Obama does appeal more than McCain to younger voters, admitted Ure.

"But they’re voting on emotion not on a philosophical deep value of why it is important for me to cast my vote for the person who is really true to my convictions," Ure said. "The young people are still being molded They don’t understand what their forefathers have sacrificed."

The event begins the Spur at 6:30 p.m. and will feature live music from The Detonators.

Among the Democratic candidates who have confirmed they will attend are: County Council candidates Sally Elliott, Chris Robinson and Claudia McMullin, Statehouse candidates Kathy Lofft and Christine Johnson and Morgan Bowen who is vying for a seat in Congress.

"Republicans are welcome to attend but this is really a Democratic event," Reiter said.


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