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On Thursday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson tweeted that Matheson calls himself a Democrat, but votes like he’s a tea partyer.
"Dems should dump him out of fundamental principle. Winning isn’t everything!" said Anderson, who left the Democratic Party and ran for president on the Justice Party ticket.
Jim Dabakis, the Utah Democratic Party chairman and a state senator, says Matheson is the antidote to the extremists now found in Congress.
"He is the least ideological guy I know," Dabakis said. "He’s a guy who recognizes that there’s a need for compromise. He’s the first one at the table, and he’s ready to make things work."
Matheson says he votes on the legislation before him, not based on political strategy, and in the GOP-run House, that’s included bills that would fund the government and change the health-care law, moves that Matheson says he supports.
"This isn’t voting with or against a particular party in any way," Matheson said, "it’s just trying to represent what my constituents want, which is [that] they don’t want the government shut down and I’ve done my best to keep it going."
Republicans say they welcome his votes.
"I’m glad to see a united, bipartisan delegation," said Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican. "I think [Matheson has] been getting most of these votes right."
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