This is an archived article that was published on in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Much has been written about the Utah Republican Party's resistance to the law allowing candidates to get on the primary ballot through petition gathering rather than the caucus-convention system.

I showed how Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, greased the skids for his handpicked successor, Karianne Lisonbee, by filing for re-election to discourage others from running, then withdrawing after Lisonbee filed for the Utah House seat just before the deadline.

And I detailed how the Utah County GOP required its candidates to fill out a fitness form and go through a party purity test.

Well, it seems the Democrats have their own problems with inclusiveness.

The recent Salt Lake County Democratic Convention was packed with a number of newcomers because of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.

More than 200 showed up at the women's caucus to hear from Catherine Kanter and Kim Bowman, two Democrats vying to run against Republican Richard Snelgrove for an at-large Salt Lake County Council seat.

Most of the women seemed to favor Kanter, the female, over Bowman, the male.

But when it came time to vote on whom the caucus would endorse, more than 90 percent of the women were told they were ineligible because this was their first caucus meeting.

A new rule requires that to vote for an endorsement, participants had to have attended at least two previous meetings of the Democratic women's caucus.

So only 15 of the 200 attendees could vote — and they went for Bowman, who had served on the county party's executive committee.

Many women left angry. Jacquelyn Orton, widow of former Democratic Rep. Bill Orton, rebuked the party on Facebook for limiting female participation at the convention.

When the full convention voted, Bowman almost eliminated Kanter, coming just a few votes shy of the 60 percent needed to win the nomination outright.

Many women supporting Kanter, an attorney whose husband, Josh, helped found the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, complained the outcome might have been different if the women's caucus endorsement would have reflected the sentiments of the majority of those at the caucus.

They were told the rule was in place because of fears that Republicans may have been recruited to run as delegates.

Those accusations were spread at the convention two years ago when former Sen. Ross Romero and former County Councilwoman Jani Iwamoto ran for the Democratic nod in Senate District 4.

The rumors about GOP infiltration were directed at Iwamoto, but they failed. She eliminated Romero at the convention and went on to win the Senate seat.

Perhaps Salt Lake County Democratic officials who worry about Democratic purity should get together with the Utah County GOP brass for an afternoon social. The two groups seem to have much in common.

Meanwhile, Kanter and Bowman will face off in the Democratic primary in June for the right to face Snelgrove in November.