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Davis County Republicans pick new chairperson, leadership slate

By Tim Vandenack - | Apr 17, 2023

Photo supplied, Davis County Republican Party

Yemi Arunsi, the incoming chairperson of the Davis County Republican Party, poses for a photo with Daniela Harding, the outgoing chair. Davis County GOPers picked Arunsi at the party convention on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

LAYTON — The Davis County Republican Party has a new slate of leaders, headed by Yemi Arunsi, who had been serving as a precinct vice chairperson for the party.

Arunsi, who lives in North Salt Lake, beat out three other hopefuls in winning election to the party chair position at the party convention this past weekend at Layton High School. He will officially take over on Saturday from Daniela Harding, who didn’t seek reelection to the top party spot after two two-year terms.

“I think the main thing is creating unification in our party,” Arunsi said Monday, addressing his priorities as party leader and alluding to the division that has at times characterized the relationship among some GOPers in Davis County and other parts of the state.

He aims to bolster unification, in part, by “modeling the behavior I would like to see,” he said.

Another focus will be encouraging more active involvement by younger Republicans. “I want to get them back in our party. I want to get them involved,” he said.

Photo supplied, Yemi Arunsi

Yemi Arunsi, the incoming chairperson of the Davis County Republican Party. Davis County GOPers tabbed Arunsi at the party convention on Saturday, April 15, 2023.

Arunsi, whose parents are from Nigeria though he was born in New York City, moved to Utah three years ago. His wife, Kristin, is a Utah native. He is director of care management for Northern Utah for Intermountain Health and previously worked as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Arunsi beat out Susan Lee, Jesse Barocio and Marc van Oene in winning the top party spot. Scott Fletcher was elected party vice chairperson, Liz Beidouin was elected party secretary and Justin Boling was elected treasurer.

Come Saturday, the newcomers will replace Harding, Vice Chairperson Devin Wiser, Secretary Patrick Russo and Treasurer Dan Brimhall. None of the incumbents sought reelection to their posts this cycle, though Harding and Wiser were elected to the Utah Republican Party State Central Committee as Davis County representatives.

“I have no doubt that Yemi will do a phenomenal job as our new chair and I stand at the ready to assist him and ensure that a smooth transition takes place,” Harding said in a Facebook post.

She noted her efforts fundraising for the party and the $72,000 in party funds donated to GOP candidates during her tenure as chairperson. “The party has never done better financially,” she said.

Arunsi lauded Harding and said he wants to build on those fundraising efforts. “She left us in great financial shape,” he said.


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