Pat Shea Mulling Bid Against Gene Davis for Democratic Nomination in Senate District 3

Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis’ 27-year tenure on Utah’s Capitol Hill may be challenged from within his own party in 2014 as lawyer Patrick Shea is mulling a bid for Davis’ seat this year.


Shea tells Utah Policy the reason he is considering a bid against Davis is the need for new blood on the hill.

“Sometimes you need a fresh wind to blow through a stale chamber,” says Shea.

Davis has been in the Legislature since 1987, serving in the house until 1998 when he moved to the Senate the following year.

Shea says he’s still on the fence about whether to jump into the race, but he says he will make a decision before the Democratic caucus meetings next week.

When asked for comment about the possibility of Shea’s candidacy, Davis said “I’m running for re-election. He can run if he wants, which is his right.”

Shea has deep roots in Democratic politics. He served as party chairman in 1983. He was a candidate for Governor in 1992 (losing in the primary election to Stewart Hanson) and was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, losing to Orrin Hatch in 1994.

In 1997, Shea was appointed as director of the Bureau of Land Management during the Clinton Administration.