Who’s who of Utah’s GOP leadership scheduled to attend county convention
A who’s who of the GOP leadership, including Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Utah Sen. Mike Lee, are expected to travel to Summit County for the county’s Republican Party convention, which takes place on Thursday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the South Summit High School auditorium.
The event is open to the public and attendees will have the opportunity to meet with some of the candidates and elected officials prior to the convention from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
"It’s kind of a rah-rah, but the county and state delegates are excited because it is a smaller venue to speak to some of the candidates," said Sue Pollard, Summit County Republican Party vice chair. "There are not many states where you can say I have met my governor and senators and had a conversation with them one-on-one.
"It’s a great opportunity to express some of your concerns and see what their feelings are on different subjects," she said. "They do listen and they want to meet you. You are their constituents."
This year, delegates will not be voting because no county races on the Republican ticket drew more than one candidate. The multi-county races will be decided during the party’s state convention on April 23. It is also not one of the county party’s Central Committee meetings, which are held bi-annually and where decisions are made on rules or constitutional changes in the county’s bylaws.
Tal Adair, Summit County Republican Party chair, said he anticipates a decent turnout for the event because of the "star-studded cast of representatives."
"When else do you have a sitting senator and congressman in Summit County at the same time?" Adair asked. "It’s a really good time for us to hear what they have to say and talk to them directly. We hope a lot of people come even though there won’t be anything on the county level. It’s a chance to get to know more people and be able to talk to about what we all value in Summit County to make sure our way of life is protected."
The following candidates and elected officials are scheduled to address party members: candidate for governor Johnathan Johnson, U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, Utah Sen. Allen Christensen, State Auditor John Dugall, House District 53 Rep. Mel Brown, House District 53 candidates Seth Winterton and Logan Wilde, House District 54 Rep. Kraig Powell, Powell’s challenger Tim Quinn, and a representative from U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office. Summit County Council candidates Adair and Colin DeFord are also expected to attend.
On Friday, Bruce Hough, a Utah Republican National Committeeman and Park City resident, confirmed he will be there. Hough said when he spoke recently at the Morgan County convention he addressed "what is going to happen at the convention, how we got to where we are and what is going to happen when we get to Cleveland." The Republican National Convention is scheduled to be held July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Hough said he plans to bring up the same points on Thursday.
"I just want to emphasize to everyone that every state that has held a process to select delegates has done so according to publicly published rules," Hough said. "People have talked about the process being less than fair to certain candidates, but if everyone is treated equal than it is fair.
"It’s all public information and it’s fully disclosed and very available to anyone who wants to know the facts," he said.
Hough went on to say that "every county convention is important because they obviously do the county’s business as it relates to the electoral process, but it also gives people a chance to listen to state and congressional candidates that are across county borders."
"Some of the state delegates and other voters of Summit County should come to inform themselves of their candidates so they can better represent their friends and neighbors," he said.
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