homepage logo

Letter: Republican paranoia about petitions and conventions

Jul 30, 2022

Regarding the Jan. 27 story “Local GOP Mulls Limits on Petition Candidates” it is fascinating to see the leadership of the GOP do its best to thwart the will of the actual members of the party.

Recent conventions have seen several popular candidates — Utah Sen. Ann Millner, US Rep. Blake Moore, Utah Rep. Steve Handy — either get the boot or at least run into trouble.

Were they really that unpopular? Well, the voters themselves didn’t think so. Moore and Millner won handily in an actual primary election. Handy still might run as a write-in in November, and should.

So what’s up? The article quotes party leadership saying that petitions might let non-Republicans sneak onto the ballot as Republicans. This paranoia shows the fear and weakness of those same leaders. Utah is a very small town; someone who is not a Republican — those sneaky liberals! — will be very soon found out.

It’s all about power and political correctness, of course. The party leaders know that whoever the R party nominates, in most of Utah, is going to win. This gives the party leaders a lot of power. Conventions let them control the nominating process so they get who they want which, increasingly, is candidates on the extreme far right.

Petitions let the public pick folks who might not be so extreme. Even — the horror! — moderate. Obviously we can’t have any of that!

This is hardly good for either the party or Utah in general, but who cares about those?

Charles Trentelman



Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)