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Democratic Senate Hopefuls Debate In Logan

Evan Hall

Democratic Party candidates seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee met in Logan on Saturday to debate issues and strategies for giving the state its first Democratic Senator since 1977.

The debate allowed both candidates to present their strategy for defeating Lee, who was first elected in 2010. Jonathan Swinton, a family therapist from Sandy, said that the Democratic Party can win by putting moderates on the ballot.

“I am trying to help Democrats actually win elections statewide here, I’m using an approach that has a chance at actually winning. There are enough Democrats around the state that appreciate that and see what we’re trying to do and support what we’re trying to do,” Swinton said. “It’s the same thing we’re seeing from candidates like Doug Owens, who has a lot of respect from within the party. I think it certainly would be a mistake for the party to put forward a candidate who is so liberal there’s no chance of gaining the support they need to win a statewide election.”

Swinton’s opponent in the nomination race, Misty Snow of Salt Lake City, said that Millennials could turn the tide for Democratic candidates in Utah.

“If a majority of Millennials were voting in Utah, it would be a completely different politics in Utah. If we are going to get them to the ballots, we have to generate the excitement,” Snow said. “You have to fight hard for a $15 an hour minimum wage, making college affordable (make it free if that’s possible), fight to get money out of politics, fight to reform Wall Street, fight to get clean energy so we can clean up our air and fight climate change.”

The two candidates will face off in a primary election on June 28.