Political organization formed to support LDS Democrats

Posted at 4:37 PM, Apr 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-04 21:51:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY - A new national political organization designed to give support to Democratic members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been announced.

LDS Democrats of America hopes to challenge the perception that being a Republican is the only way to be a "good" Mormon involved in politics.

"Something that we found is that among many Latter-day Saints, a Democrat is a four letter word and that Republican is just the way things are. When people self-identify as Democrats, it can add to the feeling of isolation," said Robert Taber with LDS Democrats of America.

The group is made up of conservative, moderate and liberal Democrats from ten states, who have chapters modeled after Utah's LDS Democratic caucus.

"We are much more than a social and networking organization. We are a political organization. Reaching out to voters and asking them to talk to Democratic candidates and take a look at Democratic candidates," said Crystal Young-Otterstorm, vice chair of LDS Democrats of America and chair of LDS Democrats of Utah.

The LDS Church doesn't endorse any political party, but more members tend to sway to the right.

"Usually we vote Republican only because nowadays, the party really supports traditional family values. That's the main sticking point for us to vote for," said Elizabeth Fellows, a member of the LDS Church.

The LDS Democrats say they know their numbers are small, but they want people to feel that their vote counts, and the only way to do that is to band together.