Candidate Profile: Karen Mayne, Democrat for Senate 5

Senator Karen Mayne (Democrat - Kearns)
Senator Karen Mayne (Democrat – Kearns)

Senator Karen Mayne is the incumbent in Senate District 5 (Kearns, West Valley) and one of only five Democrats currently in the Senate. Mayne has a background in the organized labor community and is the widow of the late Senator Edward Mayne. Since her appointment in 2008, Mayne has fought for issues ranging from the rights of unincorporated towns to wage equality.

During the 2014 Legislative Session, Mayne sponsored two major pieces of legislation: SB 36 and SB 216. SB 36 dealt the buying and selling of voter registration information by people other than political parties and government agencies. “My coworkers got more email on [SB 36] than any other issue. It was well publicized,” said Mayne. Her second bill, SB 216, gave a process and structure for property annexation and providing services for cities and town that exist unincorporated in their counties. “It was a matter of fairness and financial stability to [Salt Lake County] for providing services to citizens,” said Mayne.

A third bill, SB 102, which increased wages for service workers, was set aside in order to focus on the other two bills. “I had a full plate and wanted to make sure it got my full attention,” said Mayne. She continued saying that she expects to bring the bill back for the 2015 legislative session. “The pay of service employee hasn’t been moved in a long time,” said Mayne.

Another topic brought up was the number of Democratic legislators leaving after the 2014 session. With nearly a quarter of the Democratic body leaving, Mayne expressed sadness about the loss to the body. “Lynn [Hemingway] (Salt Lake City) will be especially missed — he’s a businessman, a member of the energy community, and is what the [Legislature] needed.” Mayne also noted that former Minority Leader, Jen Seelig (Salt Lake City), led the House Democrats well and will also be missed. “Those who are left will continue our hard work.”

Regarding her track record, Mayne, a two-time incumbent, noted her work to protect women’s rights in the workplace, legislation regarding worker’s compensation for those that test positive for controlled substances not prescribed, and working in a bipartisan manner regarding unincorporated Salt Lake County. “[Unincorporated municipalities] don’t always get a seat at the table and we want to make sure everyone has a place at the table,” said Mayne.

Finally, the interview turned towards the most politically significant event (beside the Swallow scandal) in 2013 — Count My Vote. Mayne seemed ambivalent about the political issue committee, saying “I never signed up with Count My Vote. I wanted to hear what both sides had to say, there are positives and negatives to all things.” Regardless of Mayne’s view, Count My Vote was never fully realized until after a compromise was struck between those that supported the caucus system and those who favored primaries, culminating in the introduction and passage of SB 54, which gives candidates the ability to put themselves on a party’s primary ballot if they receive enough signatures.

For more information on Senator Karen Mayne and her reelection go to

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