Utah's struggle for statehood, during the late Nineteenth-century, precipitated changes in the Mormon Church, resulting in a more balanced, and volatile, political environment. Politics in Utah tended to fall along religious lines and elections would usually pit the Mormon People's Party against the Gentile Liberal Party (in Utah, non-Mormons are often described as "gentiles"). When the Mormon Church formally abandoned the practice of polygamy, during Utah's bid for statehood, Republicans and Democrats formed local parties. Following the granting of statehood in 1896, it appeared that Utah favored the Democratic Party.
The Utah County Democrat made its debut August 31, 1898 during the county's "blue" period. The paper, published three times a week in Provo, Utah, could always be counted on to castigate Republicans. During a fall primary, after the turn of the century, the Democrat opined: "The 'charmed circle' rule was evident at the Republican primaries last evening. It's a pity that some people have eyes, and can't see."
Being more than a political soapbox, the Democrat thrived for more than 10 years by offering readers news that mattered to them, including coverage of local government, and the latest from the agricultural and mining industries. The Democrat became independent in February 1909 and changed its name to the Provo Herald.
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