Newly-elected Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis last week became the first openly gay person to lead a state party in Utah, and he's got a tough road ahead.
But that has mainly to do with the fact that Republicans control both houses of the Legislature, hold all statewide offices and about 60 percent of the state's population is Mormon, a reliable GOP constituency. In fact, Dabakis, with his typical good cheer, said the only Democratic party delegate who raised concerns about his sexuality was another gay man.
"He said he was worried that if he told people he was gay, they would know he was a Democrat," Dabakis said in an interview with The Associated Press. "That's what really scared him."
Dabakis has a boundless optimism practically required of Utah Democrats, and as co-founder of Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center he's no stranger to challenges in a deeply conservative state.
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