New Dem Party Chair Aims to Bring in LDS Support

Jim Dabakis, newly elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman

(KCPW News) Utah Democrats have a new party chairman. Saturday, Jim Dabakis was chosen by delegates at the Democratic state convention, held at the Hilton in downtown Salt Lake City. Dabakis, who co-founded the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah, is now the first openly gay leader of a statewide political party in Utah, and says he hopes to be more welcoming to LDS Utahns.

“We just plain are not hitting the mark and we perhaps haven’t been as comfortable in our tent for LDS people and as welcoming, and given the degradation of the Republican Party as they have a civil war, there may be an opportunity for us to say to reasonable, fair-minded Republicans and independents, come into our big Democratic tent, we have a place for you and we respect you,” said Dabakis.

In a closer race, Brian Doughty won the seat for House District 30, former Representative Jackie Biskupski’s job, by just one vote.

The Dallas native and self-employed business owner says he is excited to get to work.

“I want to work with the Legislature and the Governor’s office on education to make sure that we’re funding public schools in the proper way. I do want to continue to work on statewide policy on non-discrimination for the LGBT community,” said Doughty. “It’s not only good to protect LGBT Utahns, that legislation is good in recruiting business to Utah as well.”

Doughty’s win means the Utah Legislature will continue to have an LGBT lawmaker.

Utah Democrats have a new party chairman. Saturday, Jim Dabakis was chosen by delegates at the Democratic state convention, held at the Hilton in downtown Salt Lake City. Dabakis, who co-founded the Utah Pride Center and Equality Utah, is now the first openly gay leader of a statewide political party in Utah, and says he hopes to be more welcoming to LDS voters.