Utah Democrats oust embattled chairwoman, elect businessman

The Utah Democratic Party selected businessman Jeff Merchant with more than 76% of votes to lead the state party. Photo from jeffmerchant.com

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Utah Democrats have ousted their embattled party chairwoman and replaced her with a businessman who pledged to lift the party from financial and relational turmoil.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Jeff Merchant toppled incumbent Daisy Thomas on Saturday during the party’s organizing convention at Park City High School. The Holladay, Utah, businessman won with more than 76% of votes.

Merchant says the commanding victory signaled that Utah Democrats are clamoring for change within their own party. He described himself as a moderate Democrat on some issues and a liberal on others.

Thomas says she is confident Democrats will rally and pull together for the 2020 election. She supported Bernie Sanders in the last presidential election.

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