LGBTQ rights group won’t pick sides in the SLC mayor’s race

SALT LAKE CITY — The LGBTQ rights group Equality Utah released its list of endorsements in municipal races, with one major exception.

Equality Utah’s political action committee declined to endorse either candidate for Salt Lake City mayor. Erin Mendenhall and Luz Escamilla are running for the office.

“The simple truth is that both Erin and Luz are strong allies to the LGBTQ community,” Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams wrote in an email announcing the PAC’s endorsements. “They both scored 100% on our survey and have a strong track record of support. In this particular race, we are remaining neutral. We know that our community will be well-served by both candidates.”

Salt Lake City, a blue island in a red state, has taken an increasingly progressive political slant in its politics in recent years. The LGBTQ community has emerged as a big voting bloc in Salt Lake City as well. Mayor Jackie Biskupski is the city’s first openly-lesbian mayor; Chris Wharton and Amy Fowler serve on the city council and identify as openly LGBTQ.

Recently, Mayor Biskupski appeared with a number of LGBTQ community leaders at a news conference to endorse Luz Escamilla in the race. Erin Mendenhall earned Wharton and Fowler’s endorsements alongside others in the LGBTQ community.

Equality Utah did make other notable endorsements in municipal races statewide, which can mean campaign contributions and volunteers. Here are the others from the PAC’s email:

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