SALT LAKE CITY – Gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in late August and the former vice president returned the political favor today.
“In a time of division, we need leaders who will stand up for working people,” Biden said in a statement released by his campaign. “As governor of Utah, Chris Peterson will help our country heal and make a positive difference in the daily lives of Utahns.
“I’m proud of his track record of fighting for consumer protections and access to health care. I stand with Chris and thank him for his service.”
Peterson and running mate Karina Brown of Nibley accepted Biden’s support while their campaign is sidelined through Election Day by concerns over the potential of public events to spread coronavirus infection.
“I am honored to have the endorsement of our former vice president, Joe Biden,” Peterson said. “He has served our nation for decades with fortitude, humility and resolve.
“Whoever wins the presidential election,” the University of Utah professor pledged, “I will respect the voters’ decision, form a productive relationship with the White House and work tirelessly to protect the interests of my fellow Utahns.”
“It’s important to work together at the national level with elected officials,” Brown emphasized. “The endorsement of the Joe Biden and Kamala Harris campaign is another step toward building relationships outside of Utah.”
The impact of Biden’s endorsement on the gubernatorial race in conservative Utah is questionable.
The most recent polling in that campaign have GOP candidate Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox ahead of Peterson by about 20 percent points among likely voters with only 16 percent of voters still undecided.
In the presidential race, late October polling has President Donald Trump favored by 55 percent of likely Utah voters compared to 43 supporting Biden.
Peterson and Brown will face-off Cox and running mate state Sen. Deidre Henderson in Tuesday’s general election balloting.