Businessman will help nominate McCain
A high-ranking member of the Summit County Republican Party will be part of the Utah delegation to the GOP’s nominating convention, when the party faithful plan to make John McCain the Republican presidential candidate.
State Republicans last week made Bruce Hough one of 36 delegates to the convention, which is scheduled Sept. 1-4 in Minneapolis. Hough, who is 54 years old and lives in Park Meadows, said he supported Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
Romney, who is a Deer Valley homeowner and enjoys widespread popularity in Utah, won the state’s primary by a wide margin. In doing so, the former 2002 Winter Olympic chief captured Utah’s delegates to the party convention. Hough said he voted for Romney in the primary.
"I love Romney. He’s a good friend and a business colleague," Hough said.
Romney is expected to grant his delegates to McCain, meaning Hough and the others from Utah will likely cast their ballots for the Arizona senator and presumptive Republican nominee.
McCain is appealing as an alternate to Romney because, Hough said, he has experience in national-security issues, he would appoint better Supreme Court and federal judges and he would keep intact Bush administration tax cuts.
"Those three issues are the reasons he is superior to any Democrat running at this time," Hough said.
He faults McCain, however, for his opinions about immigration and campaign-finance laws.
Hough is a veteran of three Republican nominating conventions 1988, 1992 and 1996 — when he gave his delegate vote to George H.W. Bush twice, followed by Bob Dole.
Hough’s position as a delegate means the Park City area will be represented at the conventions of the two major political parties. State Democrats recently named Kristi Cumming, who lives in the Snyderville Basin, a superdelegate to the convention. She supports Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
Hough is a founder and the president of Nutraceutical Corp., a nutritional-supplement company with its headquarters in Park City.
He donated $250 to Romney in late 2007, Federal Election Commission reports show, and Hough also donated to President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign, when he gave $2,000. Hough supported Utah’s Republican senators, Bob Bennett and Orrin Hatch.
Hough said the ongoing contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination boosts McCain’s chances on Election Day. Hough said the probing of Obama’s background is especially welcome.
"The longer they beat each other up, the better it is for us," he said.
Becca Gerber, a first-term member of the Park City Council who is seen as bringing a younger person’s perspective to the Marsac Building, will seek reelection this year.