Park City could have role in White House campaign, as it has in the past
Might Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren or any of the other Democrats seeking the party’s White House nomination make a stop in Park City as they raise funds or court voters for the Utah presidential primary in 2020?
And would President Trump decide to visit the community as his re-election campaign starts in earnest?
Park City for more than a decade has drawn a series of top-tier political figures during the presidential-election cycles, including an incumbent president, a future president and a former president. The local political parties say there are no high-profile visits to Park City or surrounding Summit County planned, but there remains a possibility some of the presidential candidates could make appearances.
The vast wealth of Park City residents and vacation-home owners is attractive to politicians raising funds, making a stop in the community worthwhile even though it has a small voting population compared to metropolitan areas. The plans to hold Utah’s Democratic presidential primary on Super Tuesday, a critical day in the nominating season, could also draw attention from the candidates.
“I do expect to see candidates here. But I can’t tell you which ones,” said Cheryl Butler, the chair of the Summit County Democratic Party, adding, “It’s still too early.”
The Park City area is a place that will continue to attract “the top-tier candidates,” Butler said. She noted Summit County has a strong Democratic presence in the state, something that influences the possibility of campaign or fundraising stops in the Park City area.
Butler said the county Democrats by early in April had not been contacted about an event for any of the contenders for the presidential nomination. She said the candidates, though, could schedule visits for fundraisers or, possibly, town hall events, starting as early as the summer. Butler on Tuesday morning said there were no plans as of then for Warren, a senator from Massachusetts, to travel to the Park City area during her visit to Utah planned on April 17.
Butler noted the Super Tuesday scheduling of the primary in Utah, saying the state gains significance in the nominating by casting ballots on what will be seen as a crucial date for the candidates.
“It absolutely makes Utah more important as a primary state,” Butler said.
The Park City-area tilts Democratic, and it is one of the state’s most reliably Democratic locales, but Republicans have also seen successes in fundraising in the Park City area. The Summit County Republican Party also is readying for the presidential campaign season even though a major challenger is not expected as Trump seeks re-election.
Brantley Eason, the chair of the county Republicans, predicted there is a good chance of top-name Republicans stopping in the Park City area during the 2020 election cycle. He did not have details but said visits could perhaps be scheduled in early 2020.
“I could see someone coming through Park City for a fundraiser. It’s feasible we could get a national candidate to come through,” Eason said.
Jennifer McDonald, a self-described lifelong Republican, was selected as the Summit County Republican Party chair last week.