Representation matters, says Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams in an appeal to the group’s followers. In an email, the PAC says it is important for an LGBTQ candidate replace outgoing Sen. Jim Dabakis in Utah Senate District 2. The district covers much of northeastern and central Salt Lake City.
“With the announcement that Sen. Jim Dabakis will not seek re-election, we are faced with the reality that there might not be an out member of the LGBTQ community serving in the state capitol for the first time in 20 years,” Williams wrote. “Every session, lawmakers draft and vote on bills that impact our community. We need a strong LGBTQ legislator who can be both our watchdog and champion.”
The group says that they love that there are allies on the Hill, “but there is no replacement for the lived experience of one of our own in office.”
“Equality PAC believes that voters of Senate District 2 should always have a strong LGBTQ candidate on the ballot. We don’t want just any LGBTQ candidate. We need a passionate and effective candidate. And we want to help that candidate get elected,” Willilams continued. “LGBTQ individuals who are eager to represent Senate District 2 should reach out to us before March 12th. We support the candidate who will be an inspiration for LGBTQ youth, an effective negotiator, and a fearless guardian for the issues we all care about.”
“Senator Dabakis is truly one in a million. We deeply appreciate his firebrand spirit. He has been a hero not just to District 2 residents, but to progressives throughout Utah. No one can really replace him, but there are many capable and incredible candidates to succeed him. And that might be you,” Williams wrote.
Tuesday, openly gay Salt Lake City Councilman Derek Kitchen announced his intention to run for the seat. University of Utah associate profession and lecturer Tim Chambless has also announced he will run for the seat as well.
Those interested in becoming a candidate are asked to email [email protected].