For too long, Native Americans have not had a seat at the table, says Darren Parry, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation. This November, he is trying to change that.
The former tribal chairman and father of nine is running for election to the U.S. House, vying for an open seat in northern Utah’s 1st Congressional District. Parry is running on the Democratic ticket after having defeated Jamie Cheek in a close June primary.
Parry faces Republican Blake Moore and two independents, Taylor Lee and Mikal Smith, in the general election.
It is Parry’s first time running for the position. His main opponent, Moore, a regional businessman, also is new to politics. There isn’t an incumbent in the race — Republican Rep. Rob Bishop, who has held the seat for almost 17 years, is not seeking reelection.
The region is historically GOP-dominated and hasn’t had a Democratic representative for 42 years. Still, the race could be the best shot Democrats have at filling the seat in the coming decade now that a Republican candidate no longer holds an incumbency advantage, said Damon Cann, a political science professor at Utah State University. Congressional District 1 includes Ogden, Logan and Park City.
Parry, a self-described moderate Democrat, emphasizes that his ideals align with what many residents support: a “Utah Democrat for Utah values,” his slogan reads.