End the duopoly

Utah Democrats cross party lines to have political impact

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — They support police reform, LGBTQ rights and Medicaid expansion. But in deeply conservative Utah, thousands of liberal-leaning voters are registering as Republicans because they say it’s the only way to have a political voice in a key election next week.

The state’s June 30 primary will decide the Republican nominee for the first open governor’s race in more than a decade. In a state that hasn’t elected a Democratic governor in more than 40 years, the GOP nominee is an almost-certain winner.

Utah’s outnumbered Democrats say they’ve found things to like in the GOP candidates for governor as Republican President Donald Trump plays to a deeply conservative base on the national level. They’re backing moderate candidates and hoping that casting their vote could help their issues get traction.

With four candidates still duking it out, the primary could be close. Democratic voters like Marina Gomberg of Salt Lake City aren’t willing to sit out the contest.

A newspaper columnist who chronicles her parenting adventures with her wife, Gomberg wants to help protect recent gains for LGBTQ people in Utah, including a ban on so-called conversion therapy for minors.

“I’m willing to change my affiliation in order to make the […]

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