BYU grads basically run Utah’s government


(via BYU)

More members of Utah’s legislature are graduates of Brigham Young University than any other school.

According to information listed by lawmakers, people who received their bachelor’s degree from BYU make up about a third of both the state House and Senate. Here’s the breakdown in each chamber:

Where members of Utah’s House of Representatives went to school

Where members of Utah’s Senate went to school

Lawmakers from BYU are overwhelmingly Republican — 33 out of 35 are members of the GOP. The school, located in Provo, is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s alma mater.

“It’s a pretty conservative school,” said Wyatt Warnick, a member of the BYU College Republicans. “The LDS Church doesn’t have a stance on Republican or Democrat, but the majority of members are Republican.”

The University of Utah has the highest number of Democratic lawmakers, 10, but they’re still outnumbered by the 12 Republican Utes.

“I don’t think voters care if you went to BYU or the U,” said Adam Brown, an assistant political science professor at BYU. “They do care if you’re a Republican or Democrat.”

Utah hasn’t swung for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1964, Lyndon Johnson, and in 2012 Romney received 72 percent of the presidential vote.

Brown said geography could be one possible reason the U has a higher number of Democrats in the state legislature. The school is located in Salt Lake City, one of the state’s more liberal areas (and by “more liberal,” that means only 58 percent of Salt Lake County voted for Romney in 2012).

Among female lawmakers, six each graduated from BYU and the U, one graduated from Utah State University, one from LDS Business College, and three from out-of-state schools.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) also attended BYU, as did Attorney General Sean Reyes (R), and Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant.

Hunter Schwarz covers the intersection of politics and pop culture for the Washington Post
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