Summit County voters get to meet Democratic candidates this week | ParkRecord.com

Summit County voters get to meet Democratic candidates this week

Members of the Summit County Democratic Party attend the county convention at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in 2016. The 2018 convention is scheduled to be held on Thursday at Park City High School.

It's Summit County Democrats' time to create some momentum for the party's candidates ahead of the election in November.

"The election season is a journey of a number of steps and the next step is the county convention," said Cheryl Butler, Summit County Democratic Party chair. "It's a great opportunity for people in Summit County to meet their candidates and hear what they have to say."

The Summit County Democratic Convention is scheduled to be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, at Park City High School, 1750 Kearns Boulevard. Anyone can attend the event, but only certified county delegates will have voting rights.

At the convention, county delegates will be asked to endorse the list of candidates that will be on the ballot in November for county positions. Two seats on the Summit County Council, as well as four department head roles, including sheriff and county attorney, are up for election, but none of the races drew more than one candidate, making the delegate voting a formality rather than an intriguing political affair.

Summit County Councilors Chris Robinson and Glenn Wright, along with Sheriff Justin Martinez, County Attorney Margaret Olson, Clerk Kent Jones and Auditor Michael Howard, are all registered Democrats and expected to attend the convention.

"Even though they are uncontested, we still need to recognize them and endorse their candidacy," Butler said. "We are really proud of our county folks, and they are doing a fantastic job as is evidenced by the lack of any candidates."

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Eighty-six county delegates were elected from 45 precincts during the caucuses last week. They will vote to endorse the candidates and the slate of state delegates attending the state convention in April.

Other Democratic candidates for U.S. Congress, House Districts 53, 54 and 28 and Senate District 26 are also scheduled to be on hand to address party members. Davis County Democrats Lee Castillo and Kurt Weiland, who are challenging Republican incumbent Rep. Rob Bishop for the 1st Congressional District seat, which includes Summit County, are expected to attend.

U.S. Senate hopefuls Jenny Wilson and Mitchell Vice also intend to attend the convention, Butler said. Wilson and Vice are seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018. The Senate seat on the ballot is held by the retiring Republican Orrin Hatch.

Parkites Eileen Gallagher, a candidate for the Utah Senate District 26 seat Kevin Van Tassell currently holds, is expected to appear, along with Pat Vaughn, a Wasatch County Democrat. Roberto Lopez and Meaghan Miller, candidates for the House District 54 seat Rep. Tim Quinn occupies, and House District 53 candidate Christopher Neville are also expected to be there.

"This is the chance for all of our folks to hear what they have to say and what their plans are," Butler said. "This is a chance for a two-way dialogue between our delegates and candidates. Without any contested races at the county level, we will be focusing on federal candidates and this is our chance to step up and start doing that."

Butler said candidates are eager for exposure and an opportunity to meet with voters. She added, "This is where we make a couple of decisions about who is running in that journey to November."

"It's a great opportunity for people in Summit County," she said. "This is one of the first conventions in the state, and the candidates are looking forward to meeting with the people."

The Summit County Republican Party convention is scheduled for April 17. The state GOP convention is scheduled to be held on April 21, followed by the Democratic Party State Convention on April 28.