Robles kicks off campaign for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-19 19:28:24-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Salt Lake Democrat running for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District kicked off her campaign Saturday in Salt Lake City.

State Sen. Luz Robles, D-District 1, is the first Hispanic woman to represent her party as a candidate for Congress in Utah.

Saturday, she called her rally a day of action and encouraged all Utahns to get out and vote.

“We want to make sure more Utahns get to participate in this electoral process,” she said. “For us it’s all about voter participation and getting them to vote by mail.”

In recent years, Utah has developed a reputation for low-voter turnout, especially in its midterm elections, like the one coming up this November. But Robles is hoping to cash in on mail-in votes for her congressional campaign.

“We know that it’s 27,000 votes that we need to make it happen, and that’s what we’re trying to reach,” Robles said. “This is a grassroots campaign, and we’ll continue to be grassroots and that’s knocking on one door at a time.”

Saturday, a group of volunteers for the Robles campaign gathered at Warm Springs Park in Salt Lake City before heading out to talk to voters. Fellow Utah Democrat and State Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-District 24, is excited about the campaign.

“It just enriches the representation when you diversify both the gender and also the ethnic backgrounds of the individuals that are making decisions on public policy,” she said.

Several times this week, FOX 13 News reached out to Robles’ opponent, Republican Congressman Chris Stewart, for an interview but received no response. Stewart holds what is called a "solid Republican" seat by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. Robles didn’t mention her opponent by name but said Utahns are ready for a change.

“New voices that know how to work in a bipartisan way for us Utah Democrats, that’s how we work in the legislature, so it’s not new for me and I’m looking forward to putting that to practice in Washington,” Robles said.

Utah's 2nd District seat is the largest Congressional District in the state in terms of geography. While Robles is considered the underdog in this election, the district has been held by a Democrat before.

Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, a Democrat representing Utah’s 4th Congressional District, formerly represented District 2 before district boundaries were redrawn in Utah after the last census.