Utah's struggle for statehood precipitated changes in the Mormon Church, resulting in a more balanced, but 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. When the Mormon Church formally abandoned the practice of polygamy, Republicans and Democrats formed local parties, and after statehood in 1896, it appeared that Utah favored the Democratic Party. The Utah County Democrat made its debut August 31, 1898. The paper, published three times a week in Provo, often castigated Republicans. During a fall primary, 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 ten years by offering readers 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. Read more.