At the top of the list is current Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon and Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis.
Corroon tells Utah Policy he is “looking at” the race, while Dabakis confirms he is officially running for the seat.
“I’m in,” he tells Utah Policy. “I simply want to go to those Republicans in the Senate who have control and stand up to say the truth every day.
“We don’t have enough of a voice on Capitol Hill. We roll over too much because Republicans extort the Democrats by threatening their legislation. I will be able to stand up to them.”
Other candidates who are considering a run are former Rep. Brian Doughty, who lost his legislative seat at the Salt Lake County convention and Democratic activist Weston Clark.
Some other names being rumored to be interested in the seat include:
- Former Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson
- Downtown Alliance Executive Director Jason Mathis
- Rep. Joel Briscoe
- Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck
- Rep. David Litvack
- Social entrepreneur Fraser Nelson
Interestingly, a number of Democratic sources say Dabakis started laying the groundwork for his run at the Senate District 2 seat right after the state convention.
An email obtained by Utah Policy sent to delegates in SD 2 invited them to a meeting to get feedback on how the party is being run. It reads, in part:
“As Chair, I want to be in touch with our Party’s soul. It is important to get your input as our Party is getting prepared to re-elect the President and get some great Democrats, like Ben McAdams, in office in Salt Lake County.”
Dabakis laughs off the allegation, saying he has hundreds of meetings with all sorts of people, and it’s folly to think he was trying to get a leg up on his potential competition.
“If I tried to do that, it could have undercut Ben’s efforts. That would have been stupid on all sorts of levels.
If Dabakis does win, he fully intends to remain Democratic Party Chair while serving in the Senate.
“Our national chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is chair and a full-time member of Congress. Our Senate is a part-time body. We have lawyers and doctors, so it’s not a stretch to think I could do it.”
Ben McAdams will have to resign his seat, of course, before his replacement could be appointed by the Governor. It’s not clear when that will happen as the Salt Lake County Democratic Party has not yet set a date for delegates to meet and select McAdams’ replacement.