Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Matt Canham | Tribune file photo) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the featured speaker at last September's launch of the Utah Democratic Caucus during the National Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Activists on Thursday launched a new national group: LDS Democrats of America.
Utahns help create national LDS Dems group

First Published Apr 04 2013 12:11 pm • Last Updated Jul 07 2013 11:31 pm

Mormon Democratic activists launched a new national organization Thursday with two goals: convince the public that Mormons don’t have to be Republicans and urge liberal Latter-day Saints to embrace their political leanings.

The new LDS Democrats of America is an offshoot of the LDS Dems caucus created in Utah in late 2011. It’s an umbrella organization that will seek to help state chapters. Outside of Utah, eight states, including Florida, now have LDS Dem groups.

At a glance

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Rob Taber leads the Florida group and is the national group’s chairman. He ran the Mormons for Obama organization during the 2012 presidential race. Taber said he wants Mormon Democrats to feel accepted.

"Something that we’ve found among many Latter-day Saints is that Democrat is a four-letter word," he said. "It can add to the feelings of isolation."

Crystal Young-Otterstrom is the national group’s vice chairwoman and also runs the Utah LDS Dems, the largest caucus within the state Democratic Party. She said the Utah caucus boasts 2,200 members, but not all of them hail from Utah.

She said the national organization will help sponsor "family home evenings" where LDS Democrats can gather, get to know one another and talk politics.

Within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, family home evenings take place on Mondays and encourage family unity. The LDS Democrats of America will hold its meet-ups on other days. An event in Weber County is now slated for next Thursday.

The Utah Democratic Party has pushed the LDS Dems as a way to grow its supporters in such a conservative state with the long-term goal of winning more elections for local and statewide office. The effort bore little fruit in the 2012 elections, with Republicans maintaining massive majorities in the state Legislature, control of all state elected positions and five out of six federal offices.

Young-Otterstrom did note that President Barack Obama got a larger share of the Mormon vote in 2012 against Republican Mitt Romney, a Mormon himself, than Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., did against President George W. Bush in 2004.

Romney received 78 percent of the Mormon vote, while Bush received 80 percent, according to exit poll analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.


story continues below
story continues below

LDS Dems held its first national event during the Democratic National Convention last September in Charlotte, N.C., where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the highest-ranking Mormon in government, said he’s a Democrat because of his LDS faith. He argued that Mormon theology stresses taking care of the poor and being good stewards of the land, positions that coincide with Democratic Party principles.

mcanham@sltrib.comTwitter: @mattcanham



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.