New Endorsements for Becker Should Sting Biskupski

Salt Lake City mayoral candidate Jackie Biskupski is a gay woman.

Over the weekend, Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker, a straight, married man, decided to go directly after women and gays who may naturally be finding Biskupski an attractive candidate.

In this Salt Lake Tribune op-ed, long-time leaders in the gay and lesbian community endorsed Becker.

In another Trib op-ed prominent Utah female political and civic leaders also support Becker.

The Salt Lake municipal elections are mostly mail-in ballots this year – with the ballots hitting homes soon.

So the one-two punch by Becker’s gay and female supporters is well timed.

As pointed out previously by UtahPolicy, Becker is already using former GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt in TV endorsements – a direct appeal to Republican city voters who don’t have a candidate in the final, non-partisan mayor’s race this year.

In the gay leader op-ed, folks formerly associated with Equality Utah (who officially is endorsing both Becker and Biskupski) say it’s Becker who has stood beside gay Salt Lakers for years and has proven himself effective in leading the way – and getting – legal protection for gays and Lesbians in employment and housing.

We’ve yet to see many pictures of Becker – wearing a really ugly red knitted vest – marrying gay couples in his official mayoral capacity during the brief two-week period over the Christmas holidays several years ago when a federal judge ruled Utah’s man-woman-only marriage law unconstitutional.

But no doubt that will be coming.

The gay leaders say Becker’s “quiet” behind-the-scenes advocacy and determination has done a lot for the city’s “diverse” communities.

The women leaders don’t talk specifically about female-related issues, instead speaking about city economic development, livability and protection of natural areas in and around the city.

The Tribune – which has endorsed Biskupski and continues to give her campaign good play in its news pages – doesn’t have the reach in its editorial pages it once did back in the heyday of newspapering.

So expect Becker’s campaign to use these op-eds and their endorsees in other mediums, like direct mail, telephoning and radio and TV ads.