On November 7, Marcia White made history as she became the first openly gay candidate to win election to Ogden’s city council. White, who pulled in endorsements from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, the Utah AFL-CIO, Good Government PAC, and Equality Utah, among others, secured 64 percent of the vote.
White is relatively new to Utah, having relocated from Nebraska in 1997. Her resume boasts an impressive level of community service dating back to her teenage years on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in her hometown. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees (public administration) from the University of Nebraska she worked in the health industry before moving to Utah in 1997 to work for the University of Utah.
Since that time she has owned her own business as a health care consultant, having previously owned and operated a medical practice management and billing company. She based her campaign upon responsible growth, education, and community building.
While White openly acknowledged her orientation on her website, plainly stating that she “happily resides in Ogden with my partner of 18 years Nancy Knape, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.” There is nothing on her site that indicates her positions on LGBT-equality issues, although her supporters page lists prominent LGBT activists Allison Beddard (member of the Utah Pride board of directors) and Jane & Tami Marquardt, who have given significantly in terms of both time and money to equality causes over the years.
Ogden is one of the municipalities that followed Salt Lake City in passing employment and housing non-discrimination ordinances in 2011. The first ordinance was vetoed by Mayor Matt Godfrey, but overturned unanimously on March 15, 2011 after language was inserted that ensured the ordinance would not violate First Amendment rights to free speech and religious belief.
This year Ogden had two openly gay candidates on its ballot, White for an at-large, or city wide, seat and Turner Bitton running in Municipal Ward 3. Bitton’s race was much closer, with him finishing just over 100 votes shy of incumbent Doug Stephens. Q