SALT LAKE CITY — The chair of the Utah Democratic Party announced Thursday he is endorsing the candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama for president of the United States. Wayne Holland cites Obama’s strong statewide appeal and his ability to bring the American people together after eight years of Bush administration mismanagement.
“Sen. Obama has helped to energize our State Party,” said Holland. “While we are blessed at having two exceptional candidates, Obama was clearly the choice of Utah Democrats on Feb. 5 and is the choice of the majority of Utah Democratic candidates to head the ticket in November.
“While it is not only important for me to reflect the sentiment of our Party, I also have a responsibility to endorse the candidate whom I believe will help unite the many voices of our “big tent” Utah Party and help us build for the future.”
Holland said Obama demonstrated his commitment to Utah by aggressively campaigning here. Holland recalled how the Obama campaign rearranged the senator’s schedule in August to address a spontaneous rally of several hundred grass-roots supporters outside of Park City.
“That Kimball Junction event showed me that he gets it. He’s interested in building a strong Democratic Party in Utah and throughout the western United States,” said Holland. “As a result of that small consideration many of those who attended the rally voted for him in the primary, told their friends and neighbors to vote for him, and will be knocking on doors for him (and us) this summer and fall.”
Holland said the senator also demonstrated a rare sensitivity to Utah values when he canceled a Salt Lake City rally scheduled on the day of LDS Church President Gordon Hinckley’s funeral and then his wife, Michelle, visited church leaders several days later to discuss family-related issues.
Sen. Obama shares Utahns’ concern for building strong communities and re-building our economy ravaged by Republican policies – across the country as well as Utah. “The headlines yesterday said ‘Utah bankruptcies up 44% from a year ago.’ This alone should be a wake-up call for every Utahn. We need a president with a ground-level view of the everyday struggles of Americans, and Obama’s experience as a community activist and lawmaker fits that requirement.”
Holland said Sen. Obama offers our country its best chance at healing the divisions caused by years of war, deficits, and partisan bickering. “Obama has built his campaign on an appeal to the deep-seated goodness of America – the goodness that somehow all Americans understand,” said Holland. “I would encourage all Utahns to take a close look at what the senator offers our state and country.”