FARMINGTON -- These are unique times for Davis County Democrats.
For only the second time in 30 years, the party will field a full slate of candidates for state offices. Local Democrats convened Saturday afternoon at Farmington Junior High School to nominate candidates for 10 House districts and two Senate districts.
The turnout alone signaled a different time, J. Dell Holbrook said, the only Democrat elected at the county level in the past 59 years.
"It's the biggest convention I've ever been to in Davis County. It is becoming more apparent to people the good old boys club up there (in the Legislature) doesn't care what people think. They've forgotten the public. We need balance," Holbrook said. Holbrook credited the large turnout to county chairman Brett Gardner and a push by the LDS Church to its members to be politically active.
A group of 363 delegates unanimously voted to nominate Steven Andersen to run for the county commission this fall.
Andersen is a businessman who currently serves on the Farmington Planning Commission. He has vowed to save the county money by rejecting any salary, if elected. If forced to take pay, he said he would take a $1 a year.
Andersen's acceptance speech picked up on a theme that had been mentioned by many in the convention crowd.
"There is a question riding over this entire convention: Is it a sin to be a Democrat? Utah deserves better than it's been given," Andersen said.
There were five contested House races, one of which will go to a June 26 primary to field a candidate. The District 18 race between Richard Bagley and Doug Macdonald will be decided by the primary. In the other four contested races, the party nominee got at least 60 percent of the delegate vote to avoid a primary runoff.
The local candidates include: Pam Udy, House District 11; Tim Pales, House District 12; Brad Asay, House District 13; Jon Christensen, House District 14; Gibbs Smith, House District 15; Doug Sill, House District 16; Bonnie Flint, House District 17; Lynn Anderson, House District 19; and Dan Donahoe, District 20.
Endorsed candidates include Brent Andrews, of Sunset, in Senate District 20 and Breck England, Senate District 23.
The turnout was swelled by newcomers such as Michael and Maureen Vowles, of Farmington, who attended their first convention.
"There are a lot of issues that are important that Democrats need to assert themselves on. Now is as good a time as any," Michael Vowles said.