Senator Bernie Sanders and newly elected Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez will be visiting Utah sometime in April as part of a multi-state “unity tour.”
CNN is reporting that the visits will happen during the week of April 17. In addition to Utah, the pair are also expected to visit Maine, Florida, Arizona, Kentucky, Nevada and Nebraska.
Sanders’ support carries major weight for Perez: the Vermont senator publicly backed Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison over Perez in February’s vote for a new DNC chair. That contest was viewed as a proxy battle between the liberal and centrist wings of the party representing Sanders and Hillary Clinton, respectively. DNC voting members told CNN they received personal calls from Sanders on Ellison’s behalf in the lead-up to the vote.
The two will cast the tour as a unity effort aimed at turning Democratic efforts away from intra-party squabbles and toward resisting President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.
Current Utah Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon said the joint visit by Sanders and Perez will help the state’s minority party boost their fortunes at the ballot box.
“We are honored and excited that DNC Chair Tom Perez and Senator Bernie Sanders plan to visit the great State of Utah in their efforts to strengthen the Democratic Party nationwide and promote our middle-class agenda. Over the last two years, we have seen Democrats step up in Utah like never before and we are excited to have these leaders help us prepare for Democratic victories in 2018 and beyond,” he said in an email.
Sanders visited Utah last March prior to the Utah Democratic presidential preference vote. Thousands turned out to see the Vermont Senator at This is the Place Park and West High School.