Park City Republican figure retires from prominent party post
The end of the Republican National Convention last summer also marked an end for a prominent member of the GOP in the Park City area.
Bruce Hough, who spent the past eight years as a national committeeman for the party, did not seek re-election to the position. It was an influential post in the GOP hierarchy that put Hough on the inside of the mechanics of the national party during an era of upheaval in Republican politics.
Hough, 62 years old and a Park Meadows resident, had been a well-known Republican figure in Utah Republican circles for years before his selection as a national committeeman, but his role over the past eight years has been especially significant. As a two-term national committeeman, Hough held one of the presidential nominating votes during the party’s convention. He served as a sergeant-at-arms as well in 2016, helping maintain decorum inside the convention hall. Hough also served as a national committeeman in the 1990s, bringing his total service in the role to 12 years.
Hough said the Republican Party of today is the “strongest it’s ever been, actually, ever.” He said some of his successes as a national committeeman dealt with the inner workings of the party, issues that would not be known to people who do not closely track goings-on in the party. He said, as an example, he was one of the chairs of an ethics committee that delved into the party’s finances. Hough said changes were instituted to the financial reporting and management afterward.
Hough said he was among the national committee members who recruited Reince Priebus, the current chairman of the party. He said Priebus has advanced the party’s campaign efforts with digital and data operations. Priebus has also brought in big dollars to the party, Hough said.
“He’s been the most prolific fundraiser in the history of the party. Period, bar none,” Hough said.
Hough has worked extensively on national-level politics, but the local Republican Party has benefitted from his position as a national committeeman, Tal Adair, the leader of the Summit County Republicans, said. Adair said Summit County is better off as a result of Hough’s service as a national committeeman, explaining that Hough has brought “good will” to Summit County.
“Bruce Hough is a dynamic leader. He’s good for the community as a whole. He’s good for Summit County as a whole,” Adair said, adding, “He’s been a good ambassador for Utah.”
Hough most recent tenure as a national committeeman roughly followed the administration of President Obama and stretched through the nomination of Donald Trump as this year’s Republican White House nominee. Hough did not publicly declare which candidate he supported in this year’s Republican nominating contest, indicating he did not want his selection public since he served as a sergeant-at-arms during the convention.
Hough said he did not cast a vote for Trump in the state caucus. He declined to reveal which candidate received his vote in the caucus. Ted Cruz won the statewide contest as well as the balloting in Summit County.
Hough said the national Republican Party will press ahead regardless of the results on Election Day. He said the GOP future does not hinge on Trump’s showing in November. Hough said the Republican Party will continue to stand for limited government, a strong national defense and protecting people who are unable to do so themselves.
“He isn’t the party. Donald Trump isn’t the party,” Hough said, adding, “We’ve lost a lot of presidential elections and the party continues to move forward.”
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