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Summit County Democratic Chair Is Encouraged With State Leadership

Executive Committee
Utah Democratic Party Convention

The Utah State Democratic Party held the 2019 state organizing convention at Park City High School last month.

Summit County Democratic Party Chair, Merideth Reed says she can’t recall a time the state convention was held in Park City. She was elected a few months ago and says she is still learning the ropes but has confidence in the newly elected party leadership. Jeff Marchant was elected to state chair position during the convention over incumbent, Daisy Thomas. He won  with 76 percent of the vote. Reed says she is confident that Marchant has the skills to bring the party together.

“Increasing communication, collaboration. How do we support each other. How does the state party help with the counties getting the organization in order? There’s been some turmoil to say the least. So, he’s ready to steady the ship. He’s a strong communicator, collaborator and organizational manager.”

Reed is not confident that the voter initiative passed last year to curb district gerrymandering will be upheld by the current legislature. District 53 is one of three house districts in Park City. Prior to the 2010 census, Park City was represented by two house districts.

“It basically runs all the way up to Idaho. It runs out to Wyoming. I mean, it’s a very large and very rural district that does not line up with the way most Park City folks are going to vote and their interests either. The way Utah is gerrymandered, it makes it really difficult to win or to have any of those representatives be a voice for us.”

She says it would take a relentless effort to win House seat 53. But District 54 is a different story.

“Well, I feel like with House District 54, that district was 152 votes off in the last election between Megan Miller and Tim Quinn. And, so that is a winnable race for us even with the district the way it is.”

Last election cycle, some grass roots organizers encouraged everyone to register as Republicans. In Utah the Republican Party closes primary elections to only those who are registered as Republican. There are no limitations on how often one can register and withdraw from political parties.

“I mean, if that’s what people want to do, I don’t have an objection to it personally. With our deeply gerrymandered district, to have a voice, and to have a vote in the election is difficult.”

Representing Wasatch County and Park City, Tim Quinn, sponsored the tax reform bill HB 441 last session. It’s a rewrite of Utah’s tax code and it’s been criticized for lowering sales and income tax rates and imposing a tax on services like attorney’s fees, hair cuts and lawn care. Proponents say it is necessary to keep up with Utah’s economy which is shifting away from sales to services. The bill did not pass in the 2019 legislative session but is likely to return this summer in a special session with the Utah Legislature.

Reed declined to comment on the bill other than to say she opposed reinstating a food tax in Utah. Town hall meetings around the state continue with Summit Park Representative Brian King planning a Wasatch County meeting on July 16th. 

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