ST. GEORGE – Democratic state officials descended on Southern Utah to offer their support for local and state democratic candidates last night.
The Democratic Party is committed to increasing its following in Washington County by reaching out to minorities and young people at Dixie State College. Utah party officials are confident in the reelection of President Obama and encourage everyone to do their part in getting more democratic leaders elected in county positions.
Wayne Holland, Utah Democratic Party chairman said that 2010 was a tough year for most Americans but President Obama’s election brought great opportunity for the future. He recalled the journey of the Democratic Party in Washington County. Holland said in 2006, for the first time in over 25 years, every legislative seat had a Democrat competing in Washington County. He said Southern Utah Democrats have one of the largest monthly political meetings in Utah. He thanked the audience for their contributions toward his reelection for a third term.
“What we all have in common is we want to make sure that those that cannot afford power can also have a chance at the American dream,” Holland said.
Democratic Congressman Jim Matheson was also in attendance and acknowledged that being a Democrat in Utah is not easy. He announced the retirement of Party Chair Cyril Noble and the election of Dorothy Engleman as new Party Chair.
He expressed concern about extreme rhetoric on both party’s and said it eliminates the opportunity to have a sensible voice.
Matheson said, “One of the greatest strengths as Democrats is to talk about the values that we share, that’s something almost everyone can relate to.”
Matheson said a new era in politics created by the ruling of the Supreme Court on 5-4 Citizens United which opened up a loophole for a lot of undefined and unregulated money to enter into the political campaign. He said he had a lot of colleagues lose their political race in 2010 because competitors received exuberant amounts of campaign funds. He said this just goes to show the unique competitive circumstances he now faces for reelection. He encouraged everyone to work together to face such current challenges.
Matheson said he thinks people in Southern Utah want to see less bickering and more constructive proposals in government on both sides. He said party representatives are diverse regardless of whether they are democrat or republican.
“I think it is dangerous to paint everyone with a broad paint brush,” Matheson said.
New Party Chair Engleman said she feels fortunate that she stumbled on the Democratic Party in Washington County. She thanked her predecessor Noble and handed him, as a gift, a large pair of sneakers. She said they were representation of the large shoes she now has to fill in her new position. She said her lifelong motto is,” Well behaved women seldom make history.”