Another Political Race in Utah, Another Mormon Card Played

“Uh oh” I thought when I saw the SL Trib’s headline, “Newcomer, Mormon card spice up Salt Lake City race.” Not another invocation of one candidate being holier than the other.

Fortunately that was not the case.

It started in late July, when a postcard using LaMalfa’s campaign logo was sent to an unknown number of District 2 households. It paints LaMalfa as the only progressive, non-Mormon and LGBT-friendly candidate, noting he participated in June’s gay pride parade.

“A vote for Van Turner or Michael Clara is a vote for more narrow-mindedness,” the mystery mailer read. “The two other candidates are Mormon Republicans — ENOUGH SAID.”

All three candidates deny sending the postcard, though the LaMalfa and Clara camps point fingers at each other.

Good for the Tribune for reporting this, but not much else is mentioned. Why the casual shrug of the shoulders? How often are political mailers attacking candidates for being Mormon? Is this a first for Utah? The mailer probably isn’t attempting the reverse psychology of last year’s “temple mailer” (which purported to align candidate Mike Lee as a worthy Mormon but was actually sent by a Senator Bennet ally).

I wouldn’t want too much made of this, and fortunately not much is. But it strikes me as very strange that such an attack makes good politics in Salt Lake’s west side.