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Hildale, Utah, Known For FLDS Church, Braces For Potentially Historic Election

Hildale Election
(Photo by Jackie Hai - KJZZ)
A vandalized campaign sign is indicative of the contentious election in Hildale, Utah.

Hildale, Utah, is a tiny city across the border from Colorado City, Arizona. And the area is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or FLDS.

The city of Hildale was found guilty of religious discrimination in a federal court case last year.

Tuesday is the town’s first city council election since the verdict, and for the first time, non-church members could win these seats.

Additionally, the city could elect its first mayor who is a woman.

Sarah Ventre produces KJZZ’s two-hour daily program, The Show. Prior to working at KJZZ, she was a producer and editor at NPR headquarters in Washington for a number of shows, desks, podcasts and the national newscast. Her reporting ranges from understanding the relationship between faith, culture, and community among those who have left the FLDS church, to political implications of world music showcases at SXSW. Ventre’s work has been featured on Weekend Edition, Weekend All Things Considered, and on member station WAMU. Ventre also freelances for the Phoenix New Times, Bitch magazine, and several other publications. Ventre grew up in the Valley and is a founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Rock! Phoenix, which puts on a rock ’n’ roll camp for girls, trans, and gender nonconforming youths every summer. She also participates in live storytelling events, and occasionally performance art. Ventre holds a degree in anthropology from Arizona State University. She is always up for a good laugh or a great chile relleno, and is happy to have returned to her hometown to tell stories within her community.