Clinton makes appeal to Mormon voters in Utah paper op-ed
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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDershowitz: 'Too many politicians are being subject to criminal prosecution' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Democrats spar over electoral appeal of 'Medicare for All' MORE is making an appeal to Mormon voters in an op-ed she penned for a Utah newspaper owned by the church.


The Democratic nominee’s op-ed in the Deseret News trumpeted how she fought to support religious freedom around the world. 

“I’ve been fighting to defend religious freedom for years,” Clinton writes. “As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world — from Coptic Christians in Egypt, to Buddhists in Tibet.”

Her column reflects the optimism Democrats have about traditionally red states like Utah, where some polls show a tight race and where Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE continues to be unpopular in a reliably red state.

In her op-ed, Clinton uses Mormon and Utah officials to help make her case.

She writes that she, along with former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman -- who became the U.S. Ambassador to China -- "stood in solidarity with Chinese Christians facing persecution from their government."

She also notes 2012 Republican nominee and Mormon Mitt Romney's concerns about Trump's call for a ban on Muslim coming into the U.S. and praises Utah Gov. Gary Herbert for "setting a compassionate example and welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing religious persecution and terrorism."

Clinton quotes Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, a leader in the Mormon church, who said, “As individuals we are strong. Together, with God, we are unstoppable.”

The op-ed was first reported by BuzzFeed.

Clinton's op-ed comes one day before her husband former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWords matter, except to Democrats, when it involves impeaching Trump Appeals court allows Trump emoluments case to move forward Trump commemorates 9/11 with warning to Taliban MORE visits the state for fundraisers in Park City. It’s unclear if he will make a public appearance in the state.

Trump has been highly critical of Romney, the first-ever Mormon to be nominated for president by a major party. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints make up 60 percent of the state’s population and they vote overwhelmingly Republican. Trump finished third in the caucuses with 14 percent of the vote.

It’s still a long-shot for Clinton in a state that hasn’t voted for a Democrat in 52 years, but political observers in the state expect it to be a close race in this unconventional presidential year.

Paul Edwards, editor and publisher of the paper, told BuzzFeed the paper reached out to both Clinton and GOP nominee  Trump “given the interest that has been focused on Utah voters this year.” Edwards said he’s reached out to the Trump campaign several times, but has yet to hear back.