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New gay Utah Democratic Party chairman says sexuality no longer an issue for most voters
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) ' Newly-elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis (da-BACK-iss) last week became the first openly gay person to lead a state party in Utah, and he's got a tough road ahead.
But it's not because he's gay. Republicans control both houses of the Utah Legislature, hold all statewide offices and about 70 percent of the population is Mormon. Dabakis says the only party delegate who raised concerns about his sexuality was another gay man who was concerned that if he came out, people would know he was a Democrat.
Dabakis (da-BACK-iss) says the real challenge for the party in a state dominated by Republicans will be attracting Mormon voters.
Although a prominent gay rights activist, he says his focus will be building the party and not pushing a social agenda.