bdoughtyUtah Democrats today overwhelmingly voted to elect Jim Dabakis as chairman of their state party.  Dabakis is a founder of Equality Utah and The Utah Pride Center.

The party also selected Brian Doughty (pictured) to fill a State House seat that was vacated by former State Rep. Jackie Biskupski, whose resignation would have left the state legislature without an openly LGBT member for the first time in years.

“I think it’s important during these committee hearings and floor debates there’s actually someone who can speak from the heart,” Doughty said.

The Salt Lake City Tribune reported:

Delegates at the Democratic state convention voted overwhelmingly, by 528-71, to elect Jim Dabakis as state party chairman. Dabakis, an art dealer and a founder of a founder of Equality Utah and The Utah Pride Center, ran against Robert Comstock, a political activist and middle school wood shop teacher.

Delegates also voted, narrowly, to put Brian Doughty, a small-business owner, in the legislative seat vacated by Jackie Biskupski.

With Doughty’s election, Utah’s gay community will continue to have at least one voice on the Hill. Biskupski, who resigned in June because she moved out of her district, was the last openly gay lawmaker in Utah. But Doughty, who lives near Liberty Park with his partner, served on the board of directors of Equality Utah until recently when he resigned to pursue the House District 30 seat.