SPRING CITY—Democratic Party values are Utah values, including family, friends and “love thy neighbor,” the party’s candidate for Congress in the district that includes Sanpete County said last Saturday, April 9.
Darlene McDonald of South Salt Lake, who is one of two Utah representatives on the Democratic National Committee, visited with about 30 people at the Sanpete County Democratic Convention at the Spring City Arts Gallery.
She said when she contemplates what would have happened if Donald Trump had been reelected “it brings tears to my eyes.”
“Would we be fighting alongside Putin or alongside Ukraine?” she asked.
She said Democrats need to remind voters that her opponent, Burgess Owens, voted in Congress against certifying the election. “We can’t give him a pass on that,” she said.
She added that Democrats need to work “really, really hard up and down the ballot to get rid of the super majority” in the Utah Legislature.
As long as Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the Utah Legislature, she said, “the people’s voices are not being heard.”
Early in the gathering, participants saw a video about Kael Weston, who grew up in northern Utah, graduated from the University of Utah and spent 10 years as a foreign service officer. He is running against Mike Lee, incumbent Republican U.S. senator.
The video described Weston’s exceptional career in the State Department as a political officer in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The video quoted Weston’s State Department supervisor as saying Weston had “the toughest, most dangerous assignment of any State Department officer worldwide.”
His job included helping Iraqis and Afghan set up functioning governments and hold honest elections. For his work, he received the State Department Award for heroism.
A New York Times journalist wrote, “Few Americans have served their country with greater courage, commitment and lucidity than Kael Weston.”
After the video, the gathering heard from Andrew Roberts, who said he had previously worked in Democratic campaigns but is now campaign manager for Evan McMullin, who is running against Lee as an independent.
Roberts said Weston would make a great U.S. senator. But Roberts said Weston can’t win. Lee is already polling at 45 percent of the vote, Roberts said. So Weston and McMullin would be splitting the other 55 percent, giving Lee an easy plurality.
Although Roberts didn’t say so in his talk, he told the Messenger afterward that moves are afoot to convince the Democratic State Convention to table Weston’s nomination, essentially nominating no candidate for U.S. Senate, and to endorse McMullin instead.
Leon Day, who is running on the Utah United Party ticket for county commission, also asked for some time at the meeting. The Utah United Party defines itself as being middle-of-the-road.
Day said that during 10 years on the Sanpete County Planning and Zoning Commission “I did get some things changed.” But he figured out the buck stops with the county commission, which is why he decided to run.
He said he offers his credentials and experience as a licensed engineer and licensed surveyor. The county can’t afford those positions, but he believes that as a commissioner, he could help fill the functions.
One of the biggest problems in the county is an incoherent approach to roads. In creating roads and adding them to the public road system, he said. Sanpete County has not followed practices that are standard everywhere else in the country.
He said he county commission has often refused to accept dedication of roads, leaving them in private hands. That gets the county out of maintaining them, but the county also foregoes state road assistance for maintenance.