OGDEN — This election cycle is a different one, overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic and a move away from in-person activities like candidate forums and debates.
That doesn’t mean there’s no way to connect with the hopefuls vying for office. Candidates, the Democratic and Republican parties and others are still organizing activities meant to give the public a way to get election information. Here’s a rundown of some of the looming events:
Virtual candidate forum: The Weber County League of Women Voters and Weber State University’s Olene Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service are hosting a virtual event via Zoom on Monday starting at 7 p.m. Thirty-four candidates have indicated the plan to take part, 25 in contested races and nine more running unopposed. The candidates include those running for the the U.S. House, the Utah Senate and House, the Weber County Commission, the Ogden School Board and more.
“Not as good as face-to-face, but better than nothing,” said Leah Murray of the Walker Institute. Participants connecting to the meeting will be able to go into breakout rooms to visit the candidates of their choice, she said.
More information, including the Zoom link to the meeting, is on the league Facebook page at facebook.com/weberleague.
Republican hopefuls: GOP U.S. House hopeful Blake Moore and Travis Campbell, the Republican challenger in the District 10 Utah House race, will be at a meet-and-greet event on from 6-9 p.m. Friday at The Monarch, 455 25th St. in Ogden. Moore and Democrat Darren Parry are facing of for the U.S. House seat while Campbell is hoping to unseat Rep. Lou Shurtliff, the Democratic incumbent in the District 10 post.
On Saturday, Rep. Steve Waldrip, seeking reelection to the District 8 Utah House seat, invites the public to meet with him and ask questions from 9:45-11:45 a.m. at Mount Ogden Park at 3144 Taylor in Ogden. He’s facing a challenge from Democrat Oscar Mata.
The Weber County Republican Party plans to host events featuring GOP candidates at party headquarters at 2210 Washington Blvd. each Friday or Saturday starting Oct. 9-10, according to Jake Sawyer, a communications official with the party here.
Democratic Party activity: Weber County Democratic Party volunteers will fan out on Saturday to distribute fliers about several party candidates, including Mata, Shurtliff and Jason Allen, who’s challenging GOP incumbent Kelly Miles for the District 11 Utah House post.
They’ll hold a honk-and-wave event at 10 a.m. Saturday at Union Station in Ogden for Alex McDonald, who’s challenging Jim Harvey, the Republican incumbent, for seat C on the Weber County Commissioner. Later at 2:30 p.m., they’ll hold a honk-and-wave event at 2434 N. Washington Blvd. for Grant Protzman, the Democratic hopeful for the District 7 Utah House seat, according to Kate Miller, a Weber County Democratic Party spokesperson. Ryan Wilcox is the GOP hopeful for the District 7 seat.
Phone banking for Katy Owens, Democratic hopeful in the District 19 Utah Senate race, is scheduled for 5 p.m. John Johnson is the Republican hopeful in the race.
Get out the vote: On Oct. 10, Voterise, the Weber County League of Women Voters and other groups will distribute door hangers with information on registering to vote and how to vote. They’ll focus on areas with traditionally low voter turnout around central Ogden, according to Hope Zitting-Goeckeritz, executive director of Voterise, a nonprofit group that encourages registration.
The door hangers will contain information in Spanish and English.
County commission debate: On Oct. 15, the League of Women Voters here and the Walker Institute are planning a virtual debate between the two hopefuls for seat C on the Weber County Commission, Harvey and McDonald.