Summit County Democratic Party seeks new leadership
Four-term party chair Glenn Wright is stepping down April 1
February 24, 2017
When Summit County Council member Glenn Wright moved to Park City, he says he never intended to immerse himself in Utah's politics, but the state's policies disturbed him.
"I felt that I had to do something and, being retired, I had the time to do it," Wright said.
Wright was elected to serve as the chair and chief spokesman for the Summit County Democratic Party eight years ago. His responsibilities included lead the local constituency in matters concerning executive meetings, party positions and the annual convention.
But, last month, he was officially sworn in as a member of the Summit County Council and with his fourth term as the chair soon coming to an end, Wright said he is now accepting applications for his replacement. Party chairs are elected to serve a two-year term, with a four-term limit.
Wright admitted his departure from the local party's leadership comes at a critical time for Democrats. However, he said he is encouraged about the future of the party.
"The silver lining of the bad Democratic news we have been getting and the general election is that we have been inundated at the county level with really good volunteers and I think we will have a very strong executive committee," Wright said. "It will be more than a few people contributing to the party."
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The Summit County Democratic Convention is scheduled to be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Park City. During the convention, the Summit County Democratic Executive Committee will be nominated, which includes about a dozen positions, such as chair and the three vice chairs.
"We have certainly had people interested in replacing me. We have two candidates right now and we can accept more," Wright said. "We close the applications to run for executive committee positions two weeks before the convention. Anyone who would like to run for party chair– all they have to do is contact me and I will put their name on their ballot."
Jeff Stern, who lives in Park City, is one of the candidates interested in replacing Wright. Stern has lived in Park City for six years and has owned a part-time home in the area since 1992.
"I never thought I would want to be a candidate, I just wanted to be strategically involved," Stern said. But I've been engaged in the political process for most of my life, working behind the scenes, and when I moved to Park City I got very engaged and thought this was a great opportunity for Glenn's position."
Stern, who is originally from Detroit, currently works as a media consultant for advertisers wanting to break into television and radio. Stern said if selected, he hopes to use his professional experience to help facilitate relationships within the party and further engage the constituency.
"The biggest thing that I notice and, here is the positive of this national election, Democrats are engaged in a much bigger way, especially in Utah," Stern said. "I feel like this is an opportunity to engage even more people. I have seen so much more diversity at our last few executive meetings than I've ever seen since I've been to Park City."
Cheryl Butler, who lives in Promontory, has also submitted an application for the chair position. Last year, Butler attended the Democratic National Convention as one of two Democratic delegates selected from Summit County to represent Congressional District 1.
"The two areas I am most interested in are our need to reach all the members of the community to grow the party and, basically, building on the enthusiasm and energy that you see in all of the activities going on right now," Butler said. "Secondly, I want to make progress on issues of real concerns, such as equality and environmental protection, affordable housing and health care.
The next meeting of the Summit County Democratic Party Executive Committee is scheduled to be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 13, at the Park City Library in Room 101.
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