Karina Brown tapped as gubernatorial running mate

NIBLEY – Cache Valley community activist Karina Brown is back in the political arena again.

Brown has been selected as candidate Chris Peterson’s running mate in the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Brown serves on the Nibley Planning Commission and the Board of Directors of the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce. She is an active supporter of the Children’s Justice Center in Cache County. She was a founding sponsor of the Medicaid Expansion ballot initiative adopted by Utah voters in 2018 and co-founder of the Cache Valley United for Change organization, which is dedicated to promoting civic engagement. Brown is also currently co-chair of the Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage 2020, celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Brown’s prior political experience is an unsuccessful run against Republican Casey Snider for the District 5 seat in the Utah House of Representatives in 2018.

Karina is a natural leader and tireless community organizer,” Peterson said in a press release. “Her public service to people in need, her leadership on recent successful ballot measures and her experience in rural small business development make her the right choice for our state.”

“I am excited for this campaign.” Brown said. “Chris is an outstanding candidate for governor. His work as a law professor, researcher and consumer advocate — as well as personal qualities of compassion, intelligence and hard work — make him an excellent choice for Utah governor!

“The Peterson-Brown ticket is a powerful combination because of our advocacy work,” she added. “His work in consumer protection and my success in helping to expand health care coverage will resonate with Utahns across the state.

“It will also be significant to run as a candidate for lieutenant governor during 2020,” Brown explained, “which is the ‘Year of the Woman’.”

Peterson, a University of Utah professor, is the front-runner in the crowded Democratic field of candidates seeking to replace outgoing GOP Gov. Gary Herbert. Peterson’s rivals for the Democratic nomination are Archie A. Williams III, Neil Hansen, Nikki Ray Pino, Ryan Jackson and Zackary Adam Moses.

In recent polling by Y2 Analytics for UTAHPOLICY.COM and KUTV 2 News, Peterson’s candidacy was favored by 38 percent of voters likely to participate in the upcoming Democratic primary. The percentages of voters favoring other candidates were 28 percent for Pino, 11 percent each for Hansen and Jackson, 7 percent for Moses and 5 percent for Williams.

Despite that polling advantage, the immediate challenge for the Peterson-Brown campaign is surviving the balloting in the Democratic state convention on April 25.

For the first time, the Democratic state convention will be held online due to the statewide social distancing and self-isolation guidelines now in effect due to the Coronavirus pandemic. With the support of the electioneering consultancy firm Election Buddy, the party plans to use a ranked choice voting system to eliminate the need of multiple ballots by convention delegates.

As in past years, any candidate who secures 60 percent of the delegates’ ballots will secure the state Democratic Party’s nomination for the general election in November.

If no candidate achieves 60 percent of the ballots, the top two candidates will face-off in the state Democratic primary on June 30.

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