Jim Dabakis

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Jim Dabakis
Jim Dabakis.jpg
Utah State Senate, District 2
In office
December 2012 - present
Term ends
December 31, 2018
Years in position 3
Base salary$273/day
Per diem$95/day (lodging)
$39/day (meals)
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Next generalNovember 6, 2018
AppointedDecember 2012
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionArt dealer
Office website
Campaign website
James "Jim" Dabakis is a Democratic member of the Utah State Senate, representing District 2. He was first appointed to the chamber in December 2012. He was selected by party delegates to replace Ben McAdams (D), who resigned to assume the office of Mayor of Salt Lake County.[1]

On May 6, 2015, Dabakis announced he would seek the Salt Lake City mayorship in 2015. He told reporters that he was seeking the position because he felt he could make a larger impact as the city's mayor than in the largely Republican Utah State Senate.[2]

He previously served as the chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.[1]


Dabakis' professional experience includes working as an art dealer by trade. He is the first openly gay leader of a Utah political party.[1][3]

Committee assignments

2015 legislative session

At the beginning of the 2015 legislative session, Dabakis served on the following committees:

Utah Committee Assignments, 2015
Revenue and Taxation
Administrative Rules Review
Legislative Management
Rural Development Legislative Liaison


In the 2013-2014 legislative session, Dabakis served on the following committees:


Campaign themes


Dabakis's campaign website highlighted the following issues:[4]


  • Excerpt: "Increase the severance tax - Utah’s is the lowest in the region at 3.3%. North Dakota is 11.5%. Wyoming is 11.4%. This is a gift from Utah school children directly to the pockets of the oil companies. (Numbers according to Montana's Headwaters Economics. Includes sales and property tax)."
  • Excerpt: "Repeal The Flat Tax - I would repeal the flat state income tax (Utah seemed to work just fine before 2006) and I would work to change the constitution back to where the founders wanted it--with all the state income tax going to Utah schoolchildren. That would bring billions of dollars into Utah classrooms."


  • Excerpt: "We need to change the emphasis of state government from the dying 20th century fossil fuels industry to the budding 21st century recreational tourist industry. Let's make Utah synonymous OUTDOOR RECREATION. We should be the world leader, everything is there--except the vision!"


  • Excerpt: "Equality in pay between men and woman--lifting Utah off the embarrassing bottom of the pay discrepancy between the sexes."
  • Excerpt: "Utah must seek wages that allow our citizens to work full time and have enough money to meet basic necessities. It means a minimum wage of at least $10 an hour."


  • Excerpt: "Utah should hold its public officials to the highest ethical standards. The recent situation involving our statewide officers has been an embarrassment. It is simple. We must strengthen our ethics laws, limit campaign contributions and expect the highest standards from our elected officials."



See also: Utah State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Utah State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 24, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 20, 2014. Incumbent Jim Dabakis was unopposed in the Democratic convention. Jacquie Nielson defeated George Chapman in the Republican primary. Dwight Barrett was eliminated in the Republican convention. Dabakis defeated Nielson in the general election.[5][6]

Utah State Senate District 2, General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim Dabakis Incumbent 74.2% 16,446
     Republican Jacquie Nielson 25.8% 5,724
Total Votes 22,170

Utah State Senate, District 2 Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJacquie Nielson 60.3% 1,012
George Chapman 39.7% 666
Total Votes 1,678


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Utah

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Utah scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the 60th Utah State Legislature, first year, was in session from January 28 to March 14. In 2014, the 60th Utah State Legislature, second year, was in session from January 27 to March 14.

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on legislation related to women’s health, access to reproductive health care and education.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key small business issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills picked by Sutherland that promote conservative policy.
  • Legislators are scored based on the issue of education.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes relating to environmental and conservation issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on taxpayer related bills.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills relating to Common Core reforms.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes in relation to the organization's "mission to defend individual liberty, private property and free enterprise."

The Libertas Institute Index

See also: The 2013 Libertas Institute Legislative Index

The Libertas Institute is a libertarian-leaning think tank located in Utah.[7] Each year the organization releases a Legislative Index for Utah State Representatives and Senators.


Jim Dabakis received an index rating of 19%.

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