Earlier this week, Utah Education Association president Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh sent a message to UEA members regarding the group's choice to endorse both Gov. Gary Herbert and Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon for office. You can read about it in this story today or see the message itself below:
"First of all, I recognize that there are concerns regarding the UEA's dual endorsement in the Governor's race. I would like to go through the process of the U-PAC in coming up with the recommendation. As you may or may not know, the U-PAC Committee is made up of representatives from all areas and UniServs of the state. When the initial discussion took place, we engaged in a lengthy conversation. I requested that all members of the U-PAC go back to their constituents and ask for their feedback on this race. I also e-mailed the local presidents and the UDs explaining the process and my request of the U-PAC members. They were charged with reporting out at our next U-PAC meeting. All member input was sought in regard to this decision.At the following meeting, we discussed the responses the U-PAC members received and the dual endorsement decision was made based upon this feedback and discussion. We recognize the significance of our decision. As a U-PAC Committee, we felt by providing our members the positions of both candidates and the UEA position, our members could make their own decisions. A brochure with a side-by-side comparison is being developed, as we speak, to be mailed to all members.The U-PAC chose a dual endorsement because of several factors, including the fact that both candidates put public education as one of their top priorities. This is evidenced by the platform which Mayor Corroon has offered and by the work that Governor Herbert did to protect ongoing public education funding this past legislative session.The UEA is not the political arm of any party. Our membership is comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. How the candidates choose to use the endorsement is dependent upon individual campaign strategies. Clearly, the endorsement of the Utah Education Association is valuable to both campaigns. This is significant as teachers continue to work together to create a quality public school for every child."