POLITICS

Former Utah state Sen. Derek Kitchen picked for job with Biden administration

May 24, 2023, 7:48 PM

Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, questions HB11, Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activi...

Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, questions HB11, Student Eligibility in Interscholastic Activities, during the last evening of the Utah Legislature’s 2022 general session at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Deseret News/Laura Seitz)

(Deseret News/Laura Seitz)

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah state Sen. Derek Kitchen has been appointed by the Biden administration to help coordinate between Congress and state and local governments at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, or EXIM.

Kitchen, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, was appointed late last week to serve as the acting senior vice president and deputy director at the bank’s Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs. According to the office’s website, it is “the primary point of contact for Congress and state and local governments” at the Export-Import Bank.

EXIM is the official export credit agency of the U.S. It assists businesses with exporting goods and provides loans, guarantees and insurance, focusing on small business.

“Utah is well positioned to benefit from President Biden’s focus on American manufacturing & innovation,” Kitchen said in a tweet. “I look forward to working with (Utah Gov. Spencer Cox) and the Legislature to support good jobs and a strong export economy in Utah and the whole region.”

Incumbent Sen. Derek Kitchen concedes Utah Senate race

Kitchen received support from his former colleague Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, who tweeted: “Congrats to @derekkitchen on the new DC gig!”

Kitchen served in the Utah Senate beginning in 2019, but was defeated by Sen. Jen Plumb, D-Salt Lake City, in the Democratic primary in 2022.

The former senator was also a plaintiff in the landmark Utah Supreme Court case Kitchen v. Herbert, which legalized same-sex marriage in the state in 2014 and preceded the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision that legalized the practice nationwide. He advocated for same-sex marriage rights during his legislative tenure, and worked on legislation dealing with the Utah Inland Porthousingtransportation and criminal justice reform.

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Former Utah state Sen. Derek Kitchen picked for job with Biden administration