The Women’s Democratic Club of Utah endorses 2018 Utah Democratic candidates who support the mission of the Club:
- Encourage women to seek public office
- Support progressive Democrats seeking elective office
- Provide a forum for vigorous discussion of key issues
- Advocate balanced, open, and accountable government
- Work for equal rights and equal protections under law for all
2018 ENDORSED CANDIDATES
JASON M. ALLEN
House District 11, Washington Terrace
As a lifelong resident of House District 11, I have watched our community grow over the past few decades. As we continue to grow, strong leadership is needed at the State level to ensure that the needs of our community are addressed, and the rights of all Utahns are protected. I pledge to represent the citizens of District 11 with integrity and work to ensure that we hand off our great State to the next generation of Utahns in better shape than we found it.
My background makes me uniquely qualified to serve in the Utah State Legislature. I am a husband and a father. I am a licensed civil engineer, a former high school math teacher, and a small business owner. I am a baseball coach, and a member of the PTA. These diverse experiences have given me insight in how to best represent the people of Utah.
I will fight for a quality public education, a clean and safe environment, maintaining and expanding a strong economy, protecting our public lands, a fair and transparent government, infrastructure sustainability, and spending our tax dollars wisely.
House District 36, Millcreek and Salt Lake City
Representative Patrice Arent has served in the Utah House and Senate and has passed over 80 bills. She is the Co-Chair of the House Ethics Committee, Founder and Co-Chair of the Legislature’s bipartisan Clean Air Caucus, and Co-Chair of the Cultural Caucus. A big believer in volunteer service, Patrice has served in countless roles with schools, community associations, charities, and political campaigns.
A graduate of the University of Utah and Cornell Law School, Patrice practiced law in a private firm, was a division chief in the Utah Attorney General’s Office, and taught at the University of Utah College of Law. She currently works with her husband in a small family business.
Patrice has been active in the Democratic Party since she was a teenager. She has served as Utah’s Democratic Committeewoman and as a member of the State Party’s Executive Committee. Patrice is the winner of the Utah Democratic Party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award and the Salt Lake County Democratic Party’s Spirit of Democracy Award.
House District 30, West Valley City
I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I studied Political Science and Business at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, one of the first historical colleges founded for the children of former slaves. While there I became a member of Omega Psi Phi, a worldwide fraternity primarily of African-American men dedicated to improving our communities through support of children.
After college I joined the U.S. Navy, serving aboard ship in the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean. After serving and seeing the world, I continued my education at New England Institute of Technology in Warwick, Rhode Island, and later, Utah Valley State College.
I am presently President of the Utah Chapter of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), a national organization of 33 chapters helping to preserve African American history. I serve on the board of the Utah Black Roundtable (UBR) whose vision is “To serve as a collective voice in support of a better Utah” and where I serve on the committee for JUVENILE & CRIMINAL JUSTICE/RE-ENTRY & RESTORATION. I serve on the board of Sons and Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage (SDUSMP), a lineage society dedicated to recording the descendants of enslaved people in the United States. I am also active in my church where I serve as a Sunday School Teacher and Family History Director.
Senate District 28
I am a democrat because I believe in cultivating inclusion, promoting equality for all, respecting differing voices, and working together to find solutions.
I am a fifth generation Utahn, born and raised in Salt Lake City. Nine years ago I settled in Springdale. Since then, I have served on the Springdale Town Council, Secondary Water Advisory Board and the Southwest Mosquito Abatement Board.
As the Ticketing Director for the Sundance Film Festival, Utah Symphony and Opera, and ArtTix I gained a strong fiscal background, tracking more than $15 million in ticket sales annually, managing budgets over $800,000, and supervising workforces of more than 50 employees. I worked closely with the Salt Lake County auditor, attorney, treasurer and elected officials. I served on the Board of Directors of the Salt Lake Visitor’s Bureau, the International Ticketing Association, and Z-Arts.
As a native of this beautiful state, I stand firmly on the principal that federal lands should remain federally, and not state, controlled.
I believe that the availability of affordable health care and a well-funded public education system are necessary to ensure our prosperous future; especially for those in rural communities.
In the interest of truly serving local constituents, I would work for legislative decisions about issues such as outdoor signage and VRBOs be at the municipal level not the state.
Senate District 12, Tooele/Magna
Clare is running for the State Senate because she is passionate about her community. Clare has lived in the district with her husband, Que Collard, for 27 years. She raised her two sons, Zach and Chaz, in Magna. She has seen her neighbors struggle to put food on the table; she has seen children drop out of school, and seen the lack of opportunities in the district.
Clare is committed to finding lasting solutions to these challenges. Clare is former Chair of the Magna Township Planning Commission, overseeing planning and zoning, and has served on the SLCo Planning Commission and also chaired Mayor Corroon’s Social Service Block Grant Allocation Fund, allocating funds for programs that make a difference in the lives of those that need it the most.
In her day job, Clare has worked in the Credit Union industry for more than 20 years in roles of leadership and management. Clare is currently employed by Cyprus Credit Union. Over the years Clare has worked in HR, Business Development, Community Development, Public Relations, Corporate Training as well as in Regional Branch Management. She has also worked in the Non-Profit sector and has been a small business owner.
House District 24, Salt Lake City
As a member of the WDC and former member of the executive committee, I am passionate about and dedicated to the mission of the organization. I am working hard to win a seat that his been filled, for the last ten years, by one of Utah’s strongest Democratic women, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck. Additionally, I have been volunteering by canvassing and phone banking as well as providing financial support to several other women candidates including Shireen Ghorbani, Jenny Wilson, Karen Kwan, Wendy Garvin, Suzanne Harrison, Angela Romero, Deana Froerer, Sherrie Swenson, and Rashelle Hobbs. I am committed to making sure that I can be as instrumental as possible in helping more women get elected in Utah.
As a life long Democrat, I am proud to prioritize progressive policy issues in my platform. Some examples include universal access to high quality healthcare, improving air quality and preserving our environment, supporting and protecting our friends and family members in the LGBTQIA+ community, encouraging development and proliferation of clean energy, establishing responsible gun control, addressing the opioid crisis and addiction, and finding solutions to assist those experiencing homelessness. Of course, the only way we can start to finally fix some of our state’s most pervasive problems is to engage all constituents in the discussion, encouraging robust, open-minded, and comprehensive problem solving efforts. As a democrat in the super minority in Utah, I have worked for years on building skills that have helped me work with legislators across the political spectrum in order to get good, meaningful work done on Utah’s capitol hill.
DANIEL CRAIG FRIEND
House District 64, Provo
I came to Provo to study editing and the linguistics of English at BYU. Like many students, including my own grandparents, I met my wife there and got married. I’ve now lived in Provo for more than eight years, the last five of which have been in House District 64. We recently purchased a home here, where we will be starting our family when our first baby is born next year.
And that’s why I’m running for the Utah House of Representatives—because I want to make this state, and our community, the best possible place to raise a family. Provo, Springville, and Utah as a whole are already fantastic places, but I believe the legislature can make them even better. My goal is to take the principle that the family should be the central unit of society and put it into practice in state law. My website details how we can clean our air, improve our schools, and invigorate our economy.
U.S. House of Representatives District 2
Shireen Ghorbani is the Democrat running for the United States House of Representatives in Utah’s 2nd District, stretching from Salt Lake to St. George, from Bountiful to Big Water. Shireen is a full-time communications professional, a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, the Board Chair for the Rape Recovery Center, a wife and mother to a three year old, and she knows we need new voices and creative minds in Congress, working together, to meet today’s challenges on healthcare, education, and fiscal fairness and responsibility.
Salt Lake County District Attorney
Sim Gill was elected as Salt Lake County District Attorney in November 2010. As a veteran prosecutor, Sim has been a champion on issues of therapeutic justice, criminal prosecution and alternatives to prosecution. He has long been an advocate of taking a systems approach to the issues of criminal and social justice, focusing on collaborative and community-oriented approaches to problem solving.
Sim has collaborated on the creation and implementation of various therapeutic justice programs including Mental Health Court, Veterans Court, Salt Lake City Domestic Violence Court, Misdemeanor Drug Court and the Salt Lake Area Family Justice Center. These alternatives seek to transition those offenders out of the criminal justice system who can most benefit from other programs—giving them a much greater chance to not re-offend.
Most recently Sim has been part of a collaborative effort to address the homeless population and drug trafficking in the Rio Grande area. This has been done by holding the criminals accountable and seeking treatment before jail for those who need it.
Sim graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. degree in History and Philosophy. He received his J. D. degree and certificate of specialization in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Salt Lake County Council District 4
Ann Granato was elected as the Salt Lake County Council’s District 4 representative in June 2018, just weeks after her husband — two-time Councilman Sam Granato — died from cancer. Sam asked Ann to pick up the torch to ensure that the people of District 4 would continue to have strong representation on the Council.
Ann has been a resident of District 4 for 60 years. She is a mother of four, grandmother of nine and small business owner. A graduate of the University of Utah’s College of Pharmacy, Ann also works as a Medicaid specialist for the state health department where she helps individuals and families maximize their health care benefits, while managing costs.
As the District 4 councilwoman, Ann is focused on preserving the quality of life in Salt Lake County even as rapid growth and change increase the demands on public services and resources.
Ann is committed to balancing the county’s $1.3 billion budget, while also providing adequate funding for public safety and other critical services, including programs that support local business owners, help individuals families thrive. In addition, she’s focused on finding common-sense plans for growth that include efforts to improve air and water quality and preserve the county’s unique natural resources.
House District 1, Brigham City-Corinne
I am running for office this year because I feel that we, in District 1, are not being represented and our voices are not being heard. We need change and we need it now! I am willing to fight for your vote. I will represent the people of District 1 and I will be “A Voice For The People!”
I was born in Brigham City in 1980 and raised in Corinne. I graduated with honors from Box Elder High School in 1999. I am an Army Veteran. I married my wife Amber in November 2003. I attended Utah State University and finished my Associate’s Degree in Global Travel and Hospitality Management online at Kaplan University in 2010. I have traveled the United States, throughout Canada, and Europe. I have volunteered for numerous political events, candidates, and also campaigned for National Delegate Congressional District 1 in 2016 for Bernie Sanders.
Salt Lake County Recorder
I have 15 years of experience working for the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office: starting as a temporary employee and working my way up through numerous positions in the Clerk’s Office three divisions. For the past two years, I have served as the Chief Deputy in the Clerk’s Office, managing a staff of over 35 employees. During my time at the County I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and a Master’s Degree (in Communications and Public Relations) from Westminster College.
I know how the County works. I know the system and I know how to get things done.
I believe it is time for honest, open communication between the County Recorder’s Office and the citizens of Salt Lake County. I will bring integrity to the position of the County Recorder’s Office. My two guiding principles will be transparency and accountability.
Senate District 2, Salt Lake City
I am running to be state senator for District 2. As a Salt Lake City Councilmember, I have advocated for progressive causes in the community. Salt Lake City needs a hardworking and collaborative partner in the State Legislature to continue the focus on issues that impact our community both locally and statewide.
Salt Lake is my home. I grew up here, attended the University of Utah, and have been a champion for progressive causes in our state. In 2014, my partner and I sued the State of Utah for marriage equality. Kitchen v. Herbert is the case which legalized marriage in Utah and 5 other states. I am also a small business owner, operating two businesses in Salt Lake. I have a food production company and a restaurant downtown where we hire refugees and new Americans.
As a Councilmember, I have learned firsthand the important role the State Legislature has in the big decisions that face Salt Lake City. Issues such as addressing homelessness & crime in our downtown, to the long-range economic development effort in the Northwest Quadrant, it’s clear that Salt Lake City needs to have strong champion in the legislature. I’m running to be that champion.
Senate District 5, West Valley City
Serving as your Senator has been an honor. Living in the Senate District my entire life, raising my family, in West Valley City, has given me long loyal roots. As PTA President of West Kearns Elementary School or using my skills as a Para-Educator at South Kearns Elementary School, I have spent my life in service to our west side neighborhoods. Being in Senate Leadership has given me a voice to all legislation and appropriations for the state. Giving Taylorsville, Kearns, and West Valley a seat at the table on all legislative decisions. My committee duties outside of the legislature are numerous. From sitting on the Airport Authority Advisory Board, Executive Board of Odyssey, Workers Compensation Advisory Group to the AFL-CIO. Input from all makes good policy. Being Co-Chair of the Sentencing EvaluationTask Force and member of the Transportation and Tax Review Task Force gives the opportunity to share our communities input and concerns. I am experienced, noted as passing effective and numerous pieces of legislation. I am proud to be a strong voice for the west side.
When I met Alice, my wife, I moved to Utah to be with her. Alice and I are very proud of my three sons. I work in corporate compliance and food safety at Park City Group, headquartered in Salt Lake City.
House District 3
I am Marilyn Mecham, running for Utah House District 3. I have lived in Utah for 49 years raising my family and serving in the background. I am running to rearrange the priorities in Utah government. I want to make education funding our number one priority with affordable healthcare a close number two. I want to examine our funding sources and stop leaving money on the table when it is not necessary. I want to support women in the workforce making equality the norm.
MARIE H. POULSON
House District 46 , Cottonwood Heights
For the past thirty-eight years, my husband Dan, a Holladay-based dentist, and I have lived in the Cottonwood Heights area where we have raised our five children and participated in community, school and church activities. A BYU cum laude graduate and an educator since 1971, I have taught English and U.S. History at Mount Jordan Middle School, Bingham High School and Riverton High School and have since retired. I was elected to the Utah State Legislature in 2008 serving on Public Education, Higher Education and Retirement Appropriations and standing committees/task forces for Public Education, Political Subdivisions, Economic Development, Natural Resources, Transportation, Retirement, Tax and Revenue, Healthcare, Veterans, Native Americans and Air Quality. As a legislator, I have worked to encourage high quality education; increased economic development; ethical, responsive government and a healthy, safe environment for our children and grandchildren.
Senate District 8, Cottonwood Heights
My family and I have lived in Cottonwood Heights for 13 years. My son and daughter attend schools in Canyons School district. We enjoying going on road trips and visiting National Parks and historic sites across the country.
I have been employed by Granite School District for 15 years. My career began at Pleasant Green in Magna. I have taught 4th, 5th and 6th grade in a looping setting and multi-level classrooms. Currently I am an Educational Technology specialist at Robert Frost and Fox Hills elementary.
In 5th grade I was inspired by my teacher Mrs. Hahn. Her class was a place where struggling students like me felt like they could succeed. She helped me gain the academic confidence I needed. I aspire constantly to be an educator that empowers students to succeed.
I not only bring my experience as a teacher, but the memory of my struggles as a student. These experiences guide my decisions while working on the State School Board. As a teacher I have experienced the needs of families in our communities. Our families need a healthy environment and reasonable development.
Tooele County Commission Seat B
Brenda Spearman is running for Tooele County Commission Seat B. Brenda has lived in Tooele County for the last 16 years. She has been married to her husband Mike for 22 years and they have five daughters. Brenda earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Science from the University of Utah and a Master’s of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University. She is currently the Executive Director of the Utah Infertility Resource Center. Brenda is also the founder and board chair of Bonneville Academy a public charter school located in Stansbury Park. Last fall Brenda was elected to be on the Stansbury Service Agency board, a special service district. Brenda believes in transparency in government. She would like to see tax payer dollars spent more effectively and is committed to work to bring about better infrastructure and planning. She is running to give voters an opportunity to create change in their county and to have a partner in government.
Salt Lake County Sheriff
Sheriff Rivera started her career in 1993, she became the first person in her family to choose a career in law enforcement. She has always been very passionate about public safety and community interaction. She has worked in a variety of assignments to include patrol, investigations, gangs, narcotics, public information, and the Taylorsville Police Department during her career. During that time, she has worked assignments in media relations and watch command. In addition to serving as a public information officer and an Executive Lieutenant. She has been involved throughout the years in community policing and many leadership positions. Rivera has also worked for Weber State College, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. She was the first female Deputy Chief for the Unified Police Department and is the first female Sheriff in the state of Utah.
“I believe that police officers should have a passion about protecting the communities they serve. Public Safety has always been a priority for me.”
Salt Lake County Clerk
I am honored to serve the citizens of Salt Lake County, where I oversee the Marriage, Passport, Council Clerk and Election Divisions. I have lead by example, with integrity and dedication.
I believe in the fundamental right of all citizens to vote and have vigorously pursued voter outreach at high schools, colleges, senior centers and countless community events. I chose to implement a Vote-by-Mail System, in conjunction with early voting and Election Day Vote Centers to provide voters with convenient options.
I spearhead legislation to protect voter information, provide for emergency absentee ballots, add urgent-situation vote centers, and update the antiquated marriage law for minor children. Senate Bill 74, sponsored by Senator Karen Mayne at my request, became law in 2018. It allows voters the option of making their voter information private and protects their day of birth from being disseminated on lists.
This past year, thousands of citizens signed petitions so they will have the opportunity to vote on the statewide initiatives. My office had the responsibility of verifying the petition signatures. I implemented a process to ensure that as many signatures as possible were counted. The feedback from petition sponsors was that the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office excelled in their acceptance rate. I am pleased that three of the initiatives will be on the ballot (Propositions #2, #3 & #4).
I will continue working hard to ensure that Salt Lake County residents are well-served and elections are conducted securely, accurately and fairly. My experience and knowledge are crucial to achieving this goal. I would appreciate your vote.
A fifth-generation Utahn, Jenny Wilson is serving her second six-year term on the Salt Lake County Council. In 2005, she became the first woman elected to the Council, where she has led numerous policy initiatives, including ethics reform, government efficiency, criminal justice reform and open space preservation. She was a co-founder of the Jordan River Commission.
Wilson has experience at all levels of government, having served as press secretary to U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-OR) and as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Orton (D-UT), a Blue Dog Democrat. She also served as an aide to the Utah state legislature and was a candidate for Salt Lake City Mayor in 2007.
In addition to her service in government, Wilson has broad experience working in the private and nonprofit sectors, serving in key positions for the Sundance Institute and Film Festival, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Voices for Utah Children and the University of Utah’s John A. Moran Eye Center. She has served on numerous boards of trustees and community positions. Most recently, Wilson directed and produced a documentary film, THE GRAND RESCUE, which aired on PBS stations throughout the United States. It is the story of a 1967 rescue on the north face of the Grand Teton, in which her father, Ted Wilson, was one of the park service rescuers.
One of five children, Jenny is the daughter of former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson and Kathy Wilson, an artist and small business owner. She is a graduate of East High School in Salt Lake City and the University of Utah, and received a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. Wilson and her husband have two sons.