SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Republicans are gearing up to select a new state party leader from three candidates and consider revamping the way they nominate party candidates when they gather for their annual organizing convention on Saturday.
Another of Saturday's headline events will be an afternoon speech from Mia Love, the 37-year-old mayor of Saratoga Springs and daughter of Haitian immigrants.
Love narrowly lost a Utah congressional race to U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson last year in one of the most expensive races in Utah history.
Matheson, a six-term Democratic congressman, represents one of the country's most heavily GOP districts
If Love had won, she would have become the first black, female Republican elected to Congress.
Love has not officially announced whether she will seek a rematch in 2014, but she has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission and has said she is "seriously looking" at another run.
Alisia Essig, Love's spokeswoman, declined to comment on whether Love might officially announce another run for Congress during Saturday's speech.
Saturday morning will kick off with a farewell speech from outgoing state party Chairman Thomas Wright, who announced in March that he would not seek re-election to spend time with his family and focus on his day job.
Wright was elected to the post in 2011 after serving as the GOP chairman for Salt Lake County. He's also the president of a real estate company.
In a statement revealing his decision not to run again, Wright said he had been grateful for the opportunity to lead the party, calling it "one of the greatest honors in my life."
Wright is a defender of the Utah GOP's caucus and convention system for nominating candidates, which one group of Republicans is seeking to overhaul, saying it contributes to a low voter turnout.
The group is preparing a ballot initiative to put before voters next year that would allow candidates that gather enough voter signatures to earn a spot on a primary ballot and bypass the convention nominating system.
The current system of local caucus meetings and a nominating convention is only used by a handful of other states. Under Utah's system, a candidate can avoid a primary race if they receive 60 percent of the votes from delegates at the conventions. If no candidate reaches the 60 percent threshold, the top two candidates compete in a primary.
The system led to the defeat of former U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett when he finished in third place at the 2010 state Republican convention. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, won the resulting primary and general election.
At the GOP convention on Saturday, delegates will consider proposals to boost the 60 percent threshold to 66.6 percent, or two-thirds, which would force more races to go through a primary.
Any changes to the GOP system will have a large impact on Utah politics, which Republicans overwhelmingly dominate. According to the most recent Gallup tracking, Utah is the most Republican state in the country.
Utah's Democratic Party, which also uses a caucus system, will consider measures at their annual meeting on June 22 to abandon that system altogether and have candidates for the party's nominee compete directly in a primary election.