Native Congressional candidate wins Utah primary

This Sept. 20, 2017, photo shows Darren Parry, chairman of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation, speaking during a City Council meeting in Wellsville, Utah. (Eli Lucero/The Herald Journal via AP, File)

Aliyah Chavez

Darren Parry advances to face Republican Blake Moore in November’s general election

Aliyah Chavez
Indian Country Today

Darren Parry, Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation, has officially won the Democratic nomination for Utah’s 1st Congressional District. He will face Republican Blake Moore in November’s general election.

If Parry wins in November, he will be the first Democrat to represent Utah’s 1st District — which serves the northern part of the state, including the Ute reservation — in nearly 40 years.

He is also one of eight Native candidates who won primary elections in their bids to Congress. Primaries for eight others are set for August.

Parry’s win comes eight days after Utah’s primary election was held. Votes between Parry and Jamie Cheek, his opponent, were so close that they were still being tallied.

On Wednesday night, Cheek formally conceded.

Parry won his election with 50.9 percent of the vote, while Cheek had 49.1 percent.

“We are grateful for the trust shown to us by Democrats in Congressional District 1,” Parry said in a statement after his win. “We will continue sharing our vision for a better Utah and a better country with all of the residents of our district.”

(Previous: Utah congressional primary features one Native candidate)

Parry’s bid for office comes after Rep. Rob Bishop announced his retirement from Congress after 17 years. Voters in Utah voted only by mail in the primary election.

Previously, Parry served as Northwestern Band of Shoshone Nation Chairman. He stepped down to run for Congress but remains on the tribal council. 

His campaign boasts endorsements from U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland of New Mexico, the Bear River Sunrise Movement and “the Sioux Chef,” Sean Sherman.

Parry is an author of “The Bear River Massacre; A Shoshone History.” He serves on several boards including the American Indian Services Board, American West Heritage Center and the Utah State Museum Board.

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Aliyah Chavez, Kewa Pueblo, is a reporter-producer at Indian Country Today's Phoenix Bureau. Follow her on Twitter: @aliyahjchavez or email her at achavez@indiancountrytoday.com

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