SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 28, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — First-term Salt Lake City Councilman Derek Kitchen has announced he plans to run for Utah State Senate District 2, the seat being vacated by Sen. Jim Dabakis.
Kitchen will join former University of Utah political science professor Tim Chambless and attorney Nadia Mahallati, who have also announced they will run.
Dabakis announced Feb. 20 that he will not be seeking re-election to the Utah Senate this year, with some speculating that he may run for Salt Lake City mayor.
Kitchen’s announcement, posted on Facebook, reads:
Dear friends and supporters,
After much thought and deliberation this past week, I have decided to launch my campaign for Utah State Senate District 2!
I love serving in my capacity as a City Councilman, and have been able to make important progress on issues that I hold close to my heart, like homelessness and affordable housing, and support for small businesses. But with the retirement of Senator Dabakis, I see an opportunity to bring a strong voice for Salt Lake City to the State Senate. One thing that has become clear in my term on City Council is that local-level issues also matter statewide. All of the issues that I’ve been working on at City Hall need to have a hardworking and collaborative partner in the State Legislature, and I intend to be that partner.
I am running because Salt Lake needs a senator that will lead the charge on housing and affordability, air quality and transportation, and access to affordable healthcare. These are quality of life issues that impact our community deeply. I will also join the chorus of voices calling for increased funding for education, marijuana legalization, and the protection of our sacred heritage – our public lands.
Decisions that we make today will impact our communities for generations to come. We need somebody who will roll up their sleeves and work to bring solutions.
I am so grateful for all the support and encouragement from my family, friends, and the broader community. I look forward to a positive campaign, continuing to engage the residents of Salt Lake City, and being a champion for important issues in the Utah Legislature.
Kitchen, a South Jordan native, was first elected to the City Council in 2015. He attended the University of Utah, studying political science and Spanish. In 2012, he started his own business, Laziz, focusing on Middle Eastern food production.
He also served as a plaintiff in Kitchen v. Herbert, a lawsuit that brought marriage equality to Utah.