SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson named a health care advocate from Cache County as his running mate Monday.
Karina Brown, of Nibley, helped sponsor the successful Medicaid expansion ballot initiative known as Proposition 3 in 2018. She has also run for the Utah House of Representatives and is involved in local politics.
“Karina is a natural leader and tireless community organizer,” Peterson said. “Her public service to people in need, her leadership on recent successful ballot measures and her experience in rural small business development make her the right choice for our state.”
Brown said her and Peterson’s advocacy work make for a powerful combination on the ticket.
“His work in consumer protection and my success in helping to expand health care coverage will resonate with Utahns across the state,” she said.
Peterson, a University of Utah law professor, is an authority on consumer protection and has published several books, including a university textbook, on consumer law and predatory lending.
“I look forward to listening to the concerns of Utahns as I work hard to earn their vote,” Brown said. “Now, more than ever, people are feeling anxious and we must reach out to them during this challenging time and let them know their voices are being heard.”
Brown said she has found that her views align with the Democratic Party on family values, education, health care and the environment.
“Medicaid expansion is actually what got me involved in politics,” she said in a Facebook video announcing her candidacy as lieutenant governor. “My mother passed away in 2013 in the coverage gap unfortunately.”
Brown serves on the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce board and is co-chairwoman of its legislative affairs committee. She is a member of the Nibley Planning Commission. She founded Cache Valley United for Change, a group aiming to increase civic engagement in the community.
Brown also is co-chairwoman of Cache Celebration of Women’s Suffrage 2020, an organization working to celebrate and educate Utah students about voting history.
“I think the special skills I bring to the lieutenant governor position is I’m able to see people’s strengths and how they can contribute to our team and helping people realize that their vote makes a difference,” she said, noting three ballot initiatives passed in the state in 2018.
Brown has a bachelor’s degree in family resources and human development from Arizona State University and a master’s in human, environmental and consumer resources from Eastern Michigan University.
She and her husband, Karl, a doctor and Air Force veteran, are the parents of four children.
Peterson is among six Democrats running for governor. The others are Neil Hansen, Ryan Jackson, Zachary Moses, Nikki Pino and Archie Williams III.