Democratic National Committee chair coming to Utah later this year

Chairman Jamie Harrison’s extended stay in Utah is scheduled following the state Democratic Party’s convention this spring.

Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison thanks his supporters at an election watch party in Columbia, S.C., after losing the Senate race to incumbent Lindsey Graham, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Jeff Blake/The State via AP)

Although the Republican National Committee passed on the opportunity to bring this year’s nominating convention to the Beehive State, senior national Democrats appear to have turned their focus to Utah.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison is coming to Utah for a visit in June.

Harrison’s wife is from Utah, which is part of the reason for the visit. The chairman will also be using the trip as an opportunity for additional travel across the West Coast. It’s likely that Harrison will also spend some time mentoring Utah Democrats and working in their offices.

Harrison’s visit was announced during Saturday’s party central committee meeting.

“I’m going to need some help cleaning up the office before he gets here,” Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis joked.

Ben Anderson, Utah Democratic Party Communications Director, said the party is excited to host their national chairman and believes it will positively impact the party’s fortunes in the current election cycle.

“We are so excited to have him at our annual Taylor & Mayne Awards Dinner in June,” Anderson said. “And we look forward to hearing from him directly about the importance of electing Democrats at all levels this November and the work that the DNC is doing to help make that happen all across the country, including in Utah.”

The chairman’s extended stay is scheduled following the state convention. A group of Democrats will attempt to convince the rest of the party to block Democrat Kael Weston’s nomination for U.S. Senate against Mike Lee to boost Independent Evan McMullin’s chances of defeating the two-term Republican.

Harrison was named associate chair of the Democratic National Committee in 2017 after endorsing his opponent Tom Perez. He challenged Sen. Lindsey Graham in South Carolina in the 2020 election, raising the most money ever for a U.S. Senate candidate. Despite the massive $109 million campaign cash haul, he was defeated by Graham by more than 10 points.

Harrison was nominated to be chair of the DNC by President Joe Biden following the 2020 election.

Harrison’s visit comes on the heels of the Republican National Committee holding its winter meetings in Salt Lake City in February.

Correction: March 22, 11 a.m. • This story has been updated to add additional context for Harrison’s visit to Utah.