Utah Democrats stand behind a 2014 law that amends the state’s caucus and convention system. Meanwhile, the Republican Party has filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.
Senate Bill 54 was a last minute compromise between Democrats, Republicans and representatives of the County My Vote initiative. It preserves Utah’s caucus and convention system and provides an alternative path for candidates to get their names on the primary election ballot.
Leaders of the Utah State Republican Party are filing a lawsuit challenging the legality of SB 54. The legislation passed this year changes the state’s caucus/convention system for nominating political candidates.
In a statement sent to KUER, Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans says the lawsuit should be seen as a friendly attempt to clarify the Constitutional boundaries between the state and political parties. He argues that the state should not be able to tell individual political parties how to elect their candidates.
A leader of the Count My Vote initiative says he’s concerned the legislature is positioning itself to destroy the intent of a compromise bill, known as SB 54, passed during the last legislative session.
Democrats in Utah’s state House of Representatives are choosing new leaders at a meeting Wednesday evening. The minority party lost three close races Tuesday when the final vote tallies were announced.
One of the Republicans who won a hard-fought race is former State Representative Fred Cox, who defeated Democrat Mike Lee in District 30 in West Valley City. The margin was just 47 votes. Cox said his opponent was gracious when the results were announced.
Hughes represents District 51 in Draper. The 60 Republicans in the House met Thursday evening and picked Hughes over two other candidates, Representatives Brad Dee of Ogden and Mel Brown from Coalville.
LDS Democrats, the largest caucus in the Utah Democratic Party has a launched a new billboard campaign aimed at Mormon swing-voters.
The billboards focus on education, poverty and LDS scripture. One billboard criticizes Utah’s position in the nation for per pupil spending in public education. It reads quote, “Our children deserve better than last place.” End quote.
One billboard states simply Mosiah 4, referring to the LDS scripture that State Representative and Mormon Democrat Brian King says highlights the churches’ focus on service, giving and reserving judgment.
President Barack Obama committed U.S. support to fighting and pursuing members of the terrorist group ISIS during a nationally broadcast speech Wednesday night. Now candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional district are responding to the speech.
Republican Representative Chris Stewart says while he wishes the president would have acted sooner, he’s relieved Obama has finally gotten serious about confronting the growth of ISIS.
The name of U.S. Senator Harry Reid disappeared from a doorway at Southern Utah University last week, thanks in part to objections from community leaders in Cedar City.
Democratic Senator Harry Reid of Nevada attended Southern Utah University as a young man, and he was pleased when SUU decided to name a campus program in his honor. But no funds have been raised for the Harry Reid Center, so the program was merged with the existing Center for Outdoor Engagement.
The Republican primary election for a seat on the Millard County Commission could be decided by the Utah Supreme Court. State election officials are asking for a quick ruling in the case.
Election night returns on June 24th showed Jim Dyer defeating incumbent County Commissioner Jim Withers by one vote. But the official canvass a few weeks later gave Withers the victory by five votes. Dyer then sued Withers in 4th District Court to challenge the results of the election. But Mark Thomas, who oversees elections in the lieutenant governor’s office, says that was a mistake.
The state of Utah may intervene in a lawsuit challenging the results of a primary election in Millard County. A court decision last Friday raises a number of issues that aren’t addressed by Utah’s current law.
The initial count of votes in the June 24th Republican primary for a seat on the Millard County Commission showed the incumbent candidate, James Withers, losing to Jim Dyer by one vote. A second count showed Withers winning by five votes.
Democrat is expected to announce two, big endorsements on Tuesday -- from the National Education Association and the Utah Education Association -- in her campaign to unseat Rep. Rob Bishop, R-1st District.
Democratic Utah Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont officially launched his campaign today with a call for real reform in the office.
Charles Stormont says as a recent employee in the Attorney General’s office he can say with confidence that Sean Reyes hasn’t done enough to fix the problems in the office left over from former AG John Swallow.
Republican US Senator Orrin Hatch delivered the keynote address for the Memorial Day celebration in Woods Cross Monday. Senator Hatch stepped to the podium following the Woods Cross Men’s Chorus singing a song Hatch co-wrote with Janice Kapp-Perry called “I Love Old Glory.” He recalled his emotions while standing at the grave site of General George Patton in Luxembourg where 5-thousand American soldiers are buried.
Utah’s 4th Congressional District race is expected to be one of the hottest in the November elections, and the top candidates met Tuesday for their first debate at a Utah Taxpayers Association conference.
State Representative David E. Lifferth is publicly apologizing for saying the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a racist organization. The Utah County Republican made his initial remarks on Twitter, then used his blog late Thursday to make his apology and announce he had deleted the offensive tweets. In his statement he called his tweets a joke and said they were insensitive to others.
Emily Chiang started the S.J. Quinney School of Law's specialized Civil Rights Clinic. She says race is an issue many people think American have conquered racism but it troubles them enough to keep talking about it.
Credit S.J. Quinney School of Law / University of Utah
Utah Democrats in the 4th Congressional District chose Doug Owens to run against Republican Mia Love.
Owens says he’s ready to take on Love in November. The 4th District already knows Mia Love from her 2012 race against Democrat Jim Matheson, who’s retiring after this term. Owens contends his Republican opponent is courting the national GOP, while his views are more in line with 4th District voters.
Democrats had a convention contest to see who would would get the chance to try unseating Republican Congressman Rob Bishop in the 1st Congressional District.
And now Donna McAleer is looking forward to a rematch against Bishop. She said she’s got much more ammunition against the incumbent in the two years since their last faceoff. McAleer says congressional bickering and Bishop’s role in the government shutdown last fall are good campaign issues in the 1st District.
Utah Congressman Christ Stewart will face Democrat Luz Robles in the upcoming November election. Robles had no Democratic competitors for the District 2 nomination, leaving her free to focus on her Republican opponent.
At the convention, Luz Robles acknowledged that running for Congress as a working mother, a state senator, and a Democrat would be an uphill battle.
Utah Democrats elected former Salt Lake County mayor Peter Corroon as their new party chair over the weekend. Both Corroon and his opponent Richard Davis emphasized the need to recruit more Democrats outside of Salt Lake valley.
BYU political science professor Richard Davis was chair of the Democratic Party in conservative stronghold Utah County for four years.
GOP delegates passed a resolution at Saturday’s state convention to defend the caucus and convention system. The issue likely forced one incumbent Senator into a primary election.
By a show of hands, delegates opposed changes the state legislature made this year to the nominating process – a compromise between supporters of the Count My Vote initiative, who want a direct primary election and backers of the caucus and convention system. But delegates like Michael Willson, say it violates the right of the party to exercise political speech.
The Republicans who represent Utah’s 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts easily won their party’s nominations at Saturday’s state convention.
Congressman Rob Bishop is running for a seventh term. He says his ambition is to stay there.
“I have never seriously wanted to be a U.S. Senator," Bishop told convention delegates. Because I am committed to the House. I am invested in the House. I want to be effective in the House. The only problem is, that means every two years I have to come and ask you for your vote again.”
Software engineer Brian Wonnacott ran unopposed for the Democratic seat in the 3rd Congressional District against Republican incumbent Jason Chaffetz Saturday. The avid outdoorsman says he regularly climbs Mount Olympus and Grandeur Peak. In asking delegates for their vote, Wonnacott expressed his realistic view of his campaign.
“I’ve climbed Mt. Rainier and Kilimanjaro and now I hope to climb the highest mountain of all, the bureaucracy of the US Government,” say Wonnacott.