Sen. Jim Dabakis will not seek re-election

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 20, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Sen. James Dabakis announced Tuesday that he will not be seeking re-election to the Utah Senate this year.

“I want to thank the people of Salt Lake City for giving me the greatest honor of my life: allowing me to represent them,” Dabakis (D, Salt Lake City) said in a prepared statement.

“Some may say why give up a ‘safe’ seat? To that, I say that in a Citizen Legislature, I firmly believe people should be elected, serve with all their heart and soul, then make way for other citizens.”

The remainder of Dabakis’ statement follows:

“Clearly, the war for a reasonable Utah has not been won. I will continue to lead our army of 60,000 forward-looking people all across our beloved state. I will be even more active with my newsletter, social media and my website,

“I want to thank YOU, my friends and supporters. It can be discouraging to regularly stand on the losing side of 24-5 or even 28-1 votes. I believe in Thomas Watkins’ words:
‘“If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But, a person flattened by an opponent can get up again. But a person flattened by conformity stays down for good.”
“In the darkest days of the Legislative Session, there would invariably be words of encouragement. I found great solace from strangers in the grocery store or movie theater, kind words in emails from constituents, and heartfelt texts from friends. These messages inspired me and buoyed me up. To you, my supporters all across Utah, and most of all to my husband Stephen, I say your love and support has meant the world to me.

“I have had six years of pouring myself into the job. I have left nothing on the table. I am grateful that I was able to play a part in bringing the ‘homos and the Momos’ together with the historic 2015 LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Law; help to reorganize the arts and culture structure in the state; be a fierce watchdog in protecting our state’s precious lands; and perhaps most importantly, it has been my greatest task to stand toe-to-toe with the powerful political machine in the state. It has been my job to be the Senate voice for so many people, all across Utah, who feel as if they do not have representation. Those that feel our system is rigged against people like them. From LGBT youth who feel alone and isolated, to Native Americans fighting to protect sacred land, to the people who believe there is no shame in enjoying adult beverages, to our dreamers who are every bit American as I, to the women across Utah that are not given the same wages as their male counterparts for the same work.

“My colleagues in the Senate have been wonderful people to serve with. While most of them are dead wrong politically, that has never interfered with warm personal relations with each Senator. I respect their hard work and sincerity. In the six years I’ve served in the Legislature, I have never spoken a word in anger with another Senator. I thank them for their congeniality (I am sure I have irritated them more than once). That said, I still I hope most of them get dethroned in their next election.
“Please stay with me as we move ahead to change Utah. Trump Inc. has given us, the reasonable people of Utah, the biggest electoral opportunity in the state since 1964! If we work hard we can WIN BIG. I will be working, all-in, until November to make sure we are changing UTAH! Stick with me!”


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