Summit County Democrats select new committee members
Glenn Wright steps down as party chair
April 4, 2017
Cheryl Butler describes herself as a life-long Democrat who "has been dedicated to the party since I first registered to vote in 1980."
Butler, who lives in Promontory, said she has worked on several election campaigns throughout the last several decades, including former Vermont Sen. Bernie Sander's bid for the presidency. Last year, she attended the Democratic National Convention as one of two delegates selected from Summit County to represent Congressional District 1.
Over the weekend, Butler was selected as the new Summit County Democratic Party Chair at the county's annual Democratic Convention. Butler replaces former four-term party chairman Glenn Wright.
Butler said she the energy and enthusiasm that developed within the party after November's election inspired her to "make progress on the issues we have been working so hard on."
"It just seems like the perfect time, with this wave of enthusiasm, to move forward. It's contagious and it's inspiring for us here in the community right now," Butler said. "I am honored and privileged to have been chosen to serve Summit County in this way. All the officers who were elected are just thrilled to be able to move forward and take the party to the next level."
The Summit County Democratic Convention, held on Saturday, April 1, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, drew a crowd of more than 100 people, including 55 of the county's 107 delegates, who were voting on the first contested races in nearly a decade.
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Liliama Woods, a 20-year-old Coalville resident, was elected North Summit Vice Chair over Rob Weyher, a former Democratic Party chairman. Butler said Woods is one of the youngest committee members ever elected.
"I want to promote that and the idea that the new executive team is representative of the entire community," Butler said.
Delegates selected Pamela Longley as South Summit Vice Chair and Bob Jasper as West Summit Vice Chair. Incumbent Corrie Forsling will remain treasurer, while Josh Hobson was chosen as secretary, and Leonard McGee and Deanna Rhodes state committee members.
Nine of the 23 candidates running for running for four positions on the state's executive committee attended Saturday's convention, along with House Minority Leader and District 28 Representative Brian King and state Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon.
Wright, a Summit County Council member, said he will remain a member of the executive committee as long as he is an elected official. However, he said his involvement will be limited.
"It's time for new blood and I think we are in a very good position to move forward," Wright said. "The rise of Trump has really brought out an incredible surge of volunteerism and the fact that we had three contested races speaks for itself. There are a lot of people who are interested in participating."
Wright said volunteers and executive committee members have increased the party's presence on social media and community outreach, a major tenet of Butler's platform.
Butler stressed the importance of reaching out to groups that have been underrepresented in the past, including minorities, millennials and East Side residents.
"We need to strengthen those relationships and build bridges to further make progress on the issues because everyone is energized right now. We haven't had the resources to reach out to these groups, but now we do," Butler said. "As a party, as we start demonstrating that the Democrats are making progress on our messages, increasing our influence and wining elections, we will move forward."
For more information about the county's Democratic party and upcoming events, go to http://scdems.org/ or follow them on Facebook under Summit County Utah Democrats.