FEBRUARY 19, 2020 AT 6:28 AM
FILE: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to supporters during a rally Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaign announced it is expanding its operation in Utah with a new state headquarters location opening in Salt Lake City. It also announced it would be hire four people to be added to the staff.
The new staff hires include a state coordinator, filled by Jodi Clemens, a regional field director, filled by Rose Asaf, and two full-time field organizers, according to a statement sent to KSL News Radio.
The announcement comes a week after the campaign announced five Utah campaign co-chairs: including Rep. Angela Romero, Murray City councilwoman Rosalba Dominguez, Midvale City councilmember Dustin Gettel, Murray City board member Elizabeth Payne and Black Lives Matter and United Front Civil Rights Organization Founder Lex Scott.
“We are building an unrivaled grassroots operation across Utah that will ensure Bernie wins on Super Tuesday and defeats Donald Trump in November,” said Utah State Coordinator Jodi Clemens in a statement. “Our team of committed staff members and thousands of volunteers is working in every corner of the state to reach voters and expand our already unprecedented people-powered movement.”
The move is one of many from Democratic candidates trying to make an impression in the typically-red state ahead of Super Tuesday in just two weeks. . . .
As she was growing up, state Rep. Patrice Arent said there was a simple expectation in her family: “Women get involved. Women vote."
And leaders of the nonprofit Voterise are hoping that other women in Utah take that to heart this Valentine’s Day — which is also the state’s first Women’s Voter Registration Day and the 150th anniversary of a Utah woman being the first to vote under an equal suffrage law in the country.
“Women need to get up from the sidelines and start playing the game,” said Hope Zitting-Goeckeritz, Voterise’s director of operations, at a news conference Friday at the Capitol.
Following Arent’s mantra, Voterise announced its plans to get out the vote especially for the holiday. It will host voter registration drives at more than 10 high schools and colleges to get women ready to cast their ballots. The state representative sees that as the first step to “getting involved.”
The rate of women voting in the Beehive State has fluctuated widely in recent decades. Utah plunged from having the highest turnout of female voters in the country in 1992 — known nationally as the Year of the Woman — to the nation’s lowest 14 years later. In the 2016 and 2018 elections, the number of women voting in the state bounced back up again, according to a September report from the Utah Women and Leadership Project.
But there are still 316,000 women here who are citizens but not registered to vote. To try to change that, Voterise created its 2020 Challenge with a goal of registering 20,000 new potential female voters. It kicks off on Feb. 14.
Murray Councilwoman Rosalba Dominguez said she set a personal goal of registering at least 100 women to vote and is challenging other elected officials to do the same. Her focus, she noted, is women of color.