Utah Democrats named Josie Valdez as their choice for lieutenant governor on Saturday, even before casting their ballots for the party's nominee for governor.
Valdez, the former assistant director of the Small Business Administration Office in Salt Lake City, was nominated by gubernatorial candidate Bob Springmeyer after he told delegates he was the "good jobs, good education, good health, clean air and clean water candidate for governor."
Springmeyer, who was asked by party leaders to run against the popular GOP incumbent, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., is being challenged for the Democratic nomination by Matt Frandsen and Monty Nafoosi. Frandsen told delegates he is behind an initiative to change the state's income tax structure and Nafoosi outlined his plan to build electric cars in Utah and make them available to residents for about $300 a month.
Valdez won't be the only family member on the November ballot. Her husband, Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, is running for re-election.
The gubernatorial race was the highest-profile contest at Saturdays's convention at the Salt Palace Convention Center. But Friday night, Democrats chose their national delegates, including a sixth superdelegate that will vote for Sen. Barack Obama.That means that out of Utah's six superdelegates for the Democratic National Convention in August, three are pledged to Obama and two are pledged to Sen. Hillary Clinton. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is the only superdelegate who has not yet announced which candidate he will support in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.
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