NewsLocal News


Utah Democrats miss the convention, but bring the party home

Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 21:44:09-04

SANDY, Utah — Monica Zoltanski loves horses, but the Joe Biden-supporting delegate from Utah’s 3rd Congressional District did not think she’d be unloading bales of hay on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

“I was excited to go to Milwaukee,” said Zoltanski, a lawyer and Sandy City Council member who attended Marquette University in the city.

But Zoltanski took a break from her hay bale duties to talk with FOX 13 about this strange year of virtual conventions.

Like all delegates, Zoltanski will attend virtually — a familiar concession to a virus that hasn’t gone away.

She said she was still happy to support Biden.

“I’m not really partisan. I support the person, and I wanted Biden to win,” she said.

Darlene McDonald, Biden’s delegate from Utah’s 4th Congressional District, took a week of vacation for the Milwaukee trip, but she still brought the convention festivity home surrounded by signs for Biden, red white and blue balloons, and a sign for Michael McDonald, a candidate for county treasurer who is also her husband.

“I really do truly believe that we are fighting for the soul of the nation. I really truly believe that,” McDonald said.

Tim Chambless, from Utah’s 2nd District, met Biden 46 years ago and said he’s thrilled to support him now.

“I want to see our country come together, to be inclusive, to be accepting and not what we've experienced in the White House for the last four years,” said Chambless, expressing an opinion of President Donald Trump clearly shared among the three delegates who spoke to FOX 13.

Chambless has been a fixture in Utah political circles for years as an instructor at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute and, more recently, an activist in the Democratic Party.

The Washington Post even featured Chambless in a story about delegates “All dressed up…” with no convention to attend. He wore his button-covered jacked and a face mask with the words “Go Joe Bye Don!”

Despite all that, Milwaukee would have been Chambless’ first time attending a national party convention.

He says it’s disappointing to cancel the trip, but it’s not so important, and in a shared interview on Zoom he reached out with open arms to McDonald.

“Darlene I give you a virtual hug,” he said as she returned the gesture.