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Park City • Hillary Rodham Clinton praised Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and the Utah Legislature for passing laws preventing housing and employment discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Utahns during a fundraising visit Wednesday.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner spoke to a crowd of about 300 who paid $500 each and held a VIP reception and photo line for those who paid $2,700 to attend the event at the home of Amy and Barry Baker.
The brief stop in Utah was her first visit to the Beehive State during the 2016 campaign season.
Clinton praised the work that Becker, who is locked in a tough primary battle, did to pass a city LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance in 2009, and a similar statewide ban on housing and employment discrimination passed by the Legislature earlier this year. Becker attended the fundraiser Wednesday.
The former secretary of state, first lady and U.S. senator from New York told the audience she was realistic about her chances in overwhelmingly Republican Utah, but remained upbeat.
Clinton said she has enjoyed her time in Utah in the past, during visits to the state for skiing and river rafting, but she encouraged attendees not to let the media find out, or it would make them think she was a "real person."
"I'm not so optimistic to think we can carry Utah. But I'm sure we can do better than expected," she said, drawing laughs and applause from the crowd, according to a source who attended the event.
She also spoke about the need for early-childhood education and making college affordable, and committed to expanding the nation's clean energy in her first term, if she is elected.
News media and the public were kept well back from the event, as Secret Service blocked off access to the Baker's property.
Clinton stayed for about two hours and then was shuttled back to the airport. Clinton had other events scheduled Wednesday in Portland, Ore., and Atherton, Calif.
Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans bashed Clinton as being untrustworthy.
"It should come as no surprise that Hillary Clinton is choosing to spend her time schmoozing with high-dollar liberal donors in the face of serious credibility issues that have weakened her lead in the polls," Evans said. "Americans don't trust Hillary Clinton, and if she doesn't come clean on issues such as Benghazi and her secret email server, her presidential aspirations will continue to fade."
Clinton holds a commanding lead over other contenders for the Democratic nomination, and was ahead of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination as well.
However, she continues to be plagued by questions surrounding a private email server she used when she was at the State Department.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the FBI is looking into the security precautions taken with the email server.