LDS Democrats encourage church members to learn more about Democratic candidates and party

- SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC 4 Utah) – A new political campaign is about to launch, specifically targeting members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

With 4500 members, LDS Democrats is the largest democratic caucus in the state of Utah.

The group offers a different political perspective among a population that is mostly republican.

"It's ok to vote democrat and it's ok to vote not straight party ticket, to split your vote, to look at candidates before party," said LDS Democrats Chair, Crystal Young-Otterstrom.

The group is launching a new campaign to take that message to swing LDS voters.

Billboards tailored to church members will pop up in strategic locations in Salt Lake and Weber counties, possibly even Davis County.

They chose issues they believe will appeal to Mormons both inside and outside of church, like charity and education.

"Utah voters consistently say that education is their number one value and yet we are year after year last in the country for funding," said Young-Otterstrom.

In addition to encouraging moderate and independent members of the church to consider democratic candidates, they want to send the message you can be LDS and democrat.

"We care for the poor, we care for the disabled, we care for those who are most vulnerable and in a situation who have the greatest needs whether they be aged whether they be children. Those are the things democrats are looking out for and they are very consistent with LDS Church doctrine," said Representative, Brian King, (D) Salt Lake City.

King is an active member of the church, he believes many Utah Mormons are republican because the people around them are.

"The need to have unity is sometimes confused with the idea we can't have different political beliefs and philosophies within the LDS community and that's just wrong," said King.

Utah Republican Party Chair, James Evans says what's wrong is a campaign mixing politics and religion.

"The republican party adequately fits the needs of all Americans. I mean, we are a center-right nation, we believe in personal responsibility, limited government and so our focus will be on the civics of politics and not introducing religion into politics," said Evans.

LDS Democrats insist all are welcome in their party too.

They just see an opportunity to educate and change perceptions in a red dominated state.

"Look at us as a whole, look at us as for all of our views and see where we align with yours," said Young-Otterstrom.

Those billboards will start going up next week.

You will see them for sure in parts of Salt Lake County and Ogden.

LDS Democrats is an independent group, its not supported or endorsed by the LDS Church in any way.

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