I am writing in response to Frank Pignanelli's column (March 20). He alludes to some unnamed "moderate" Democrats threatening "defection" if I am elected.

The Democratic Party rightly prides itself on embracing myriad views. This is a value I believe all candidates for the state chairman position share. Assuming the Democrats Pignanelli refers to as potential defectors do exist, I would urge them to consider my record and that of the UDPC when it comes to working with fellow Democrats and supporting all Democrats receiving the nomination of our party. Any defections resulting from the election of any candidate for state chairman would demonstrate a lack of appreciation for our party's diversity, and a willingness to weaken our party over differences of opinion that I and most Democrats are more than willing to transcend. This would say more about the defector than it would our choice for party chairman.

Craig Axford

candidate for Utah Democratic Party chairman

Salt Lake City