OGDEN — Just because it's an off election year doesn't mean members of the Weber County Democratic Party will be taking a rest.
There are municipal elections this year across Utah, and though they are technically nonpartisan, Zachary Thomas, newly elected chair of the party, said party activists will be helping a handful of candidates around Weber County. In all, he said, he hopes the party installs nine city candidates across the county who are sympathetic to Democrats.
Weber County Republicans, who generally hold sway in the county, "have a lot of representatives, but I wouldn't necessarily say they're super strong," Thomas said Monday.
Thomas, elected last year to fill in as chairman after John Miles stepped down, was elected last Saturday to his first full term in the leadership post at the party convention, held at Weber State University. He was the sole candidate.
Aubrey Allen, appointed last December to the vice chair post, was elected to a full term in the position, while Linda Mitchell and Jaden Priest were elected treasurer and secretary, respectively. Each of them were the only candidates in their races.
Most immediately, Thomas, a WSU student, said he hopes to get leadership team members up to speed on their varied responsibilities. Party activists are already involved in supporting a mix of city council and mayoral hopefuls in Ogden, Washington Terrace, Riverdale, North Ogden and West Haven. They hope to recruit hopefuls for South Ogden city races as well.
He's not sure if the party will be involved in the question to be on the Nov. 5 ballot asking voters if they favor creation of a special committee to study the notion of changing the style of county government here. If the Weber County Republican Party gets involved, Democrats may as well, he said.
If the ballot question passes, a special body would be formed to study the varied alternatives to the three-commissioner form of county government here, possibly putting any proposed change to voters in a subsequent election.
Democratic activists, however, are already gearing up for 2020 state legislative races, Thomas said. Democrats plan to field candidates in all the Utah House and Senate races with districts in Weber County. Voters last year elected the first Democratic Utah House member from Weber County in a decade and Thomas hopes the party can win another four or five legislative seats next year.
Thomas doesn't foresee the party here taking an active role in the U.S. presidential race next year. Party activists, he said, can have more of an impact in local races.