Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis, a
Democrat from Salt Lake City, on Tuesday announced that he will not
be seeking re-election to the Utah Senate.
“I will not be running for
re-election to the Utah State Senate in 2018. I want to thank the
people of Salt Lake City for giving me the greatest honor of my life:
allowing me to represent them,” Dabakis said in a statement. “I
have had six years of pouring myself into the Senate job. I have left
nothing on the table. I am grateful that I was able to play a part in
bringing the ‘homos and the Momos’ together with the historic
2015 LGBTQ Non-Discrimination Law; help support and reorganize the
arts and culture structure in the State; be a fierce watchdog in
protecting our State's precious lands; and perhaps, it has been my
greatest task to stand toe-to-toe with the all-encompassing political
machine that runs the State.”
Dabakis, a co-founder of the Utah Pride
Center and Equality Utah, the state's largest gay rights advocate,
was elected chair of the Utah Democratic Party in 2011, making him
the first openly gay man to lead a major party in Utah.
Dabakis, a vocal critic of President
Donald Trump, was appointed to the Utah Senate in 2012 and won
re-election in 2014. He is the Senate's only openly gay member.
“The ability to have actual, real
live gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people in the body, there
making the decisions, sitting on the other side … is really, really
important for this state,” Dabakis said.
Dabakis and his husband Stephen
Justeson married on December 20, 2013, just hours after a federal
judge struck down Utah's ban on same-sex marriage. Salt Lake City
Mayor Ralph Becker presided over the ceremony.