Does Anyone Want to Be a Utah Democrat?

Utah Dems LogoWill anyone admit to being a Democrat in Utah?

Two Democratic candidates in high-profile races seem to be eschewing the Democratic label.
Mike Weinholtz, who is running for governor, has few materials on his website identifying him as a Democrat. While he identifies as a Democrat in interviews, the only thing in his campaign materials that identifies him as a member of Utah’s minority party is a small “circle D” located on the bottom right of his logo, which you can see below.
20160209 Weinholtz Logo
Weinholtz’s campaign, in an email response, pointed out the “circle D” attached to his logo and said he is not running away from the Democrat label.
“I think you’ll find that Mike’s admitted, in public, to being a Democrat in every interview he’s done since the campaign launched,” they said in the email.
2nd District candidate Charlene Albarann has some billboards up, but they do not identify her as a Democrat. Her website also did not include her party affiliation but was changed shortly after we made an inquiry about why it was missing.
Albarann, also in an email response, said there was no particular reason she did not identify her party affiliation.
“I am a proud Democrat,” she said.
Albarann, a businesswoman from Park City, also won the Miss Idaho pageant in 1975.
Some Democrats I spoke to about the missing party identification declined to comment on the record, but merely shook their heads in frustration. A request from the state party seeking comment was forwarded to the Weinholtz campaign without response.
While both candidates say they aren’t intentionally running away from the Democratic label, maybe it’s a good strategy not to be affiliated with the party in those races.
The last Democratic governor of Utah was Scott Matheson, who left office more than three decades ago. Democrats have lost the last three gubernatorial elections by 41, 32 and 57 points. In fact, Democrats have lost the last 28 statewide elections, which is a streak of GOP dominance stretching back to 1996 when Jan Graham was elected Attorney General.
In Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Chris Stewart walloped his last two Democratic opponents by 29 and 28 points. In those last two elections, the ceiling for the Democratic candidate topped out at about 33% total.
So, the numbers are decidedly against Democrats, and being identified with Utah’s minority party certainly isn’t doing them any favors.