Corroon, Davis running for state Democratic Party chairman

Published: Friday, April 4 2014 11:15 a.m. MDT

Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon speaks at the Salt Lake County Inaugural Ceremony at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and former Utah County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Davis both said Friday they are running for the Utah Democratic Party chairmanship.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and former Utah County Democratic Party Chairman Richard Davis both said Friday they are running for the Utah Democratic Party chairmanship.

Corroon, a real estate developer, said his unsuccessful bid to unseat Gov. Gary Herbert in 2010 "may be why I'm ideally suited for this" because he gained an understanding of the challenges of appealing to voters in a GOP-dominated state.

Davis, a BYU political science professor who writes a column for the Deseret News, said he was able to increase support for Democratic candidates in Utah County while serving as party chairman from 2007 through 2011, although none were elected.

Democratic delegates will choose a new chairman at their state convention on April 26 to replace Jim Dabakis. Dabakis, a state senator, resigned as party chairman last month for undisclosed medical reasons.

The state party's executive director, Matt Lyon, said the convention has been moved from a downtown hotel to the Salt Palace Convention Center because the race is expected to draw more delegates.

"It'll make our convention a bigger deal than it was before," Lyon said. "Now, I imagine we'll get a great turnout from delegates statewide."

The filing period for candidates seeking the state party chairmanship begins Monday and ends Friday. The chairman chosen at the convention will serve for the remaining year of Dabakis' term.

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