She has been a fixture in the Utah State Legislature for the past 22 years.
But as a Jewish Democrat female, Patrice Arent is way outnumbered, compared to her predominantly Latter-day Saint male Republican counterparts.
Since 1996 Arent has served in both the Utah Senate and House and is a champion of clean air, education funding and medical marijuana.
Bob Evans sat down with Arent and asked her three questions:
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out against Proposition 2, the medical marijuana initiative that came forward. And yet, it passed. I don't think I've ever seen that happen before, where the Church comes out and says, "Don't vote for this," and it passed. Are we seeing a situation where the Church's influence, politically, in Utah is starting to diminish?
- When you look at the three initiatives that were on the ballot in the mid-term elections - the medical marijuana, the Medicaid expansion, and the redistricting commission, and see that they came from the electorate, what message does that send in regards to how the voters feel the legislature is doing?
- The Republicans in the Utah legislature are enjoying a super-majority. Right now, in the Senate, I believe it's 24 to 5. And in the House, it's 63 to 12. Why is there such an imbalance of power there politically; and what can be done to correct that?
Arent's full interview with Bob Evans can be seen below: