IN FOCUS Discussion: Moving forward in Utah’s Republican party

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Nearly two weeks ago, the Salt Lake County Republicans released a letter to address accusations of verbal abuse and sexual harassment made by its own members to the Salt Lake Tribune. The letter was signed by the Chair, Scott Miller stating that he and one of his volunteers, Dave Robinson were the ones at the center of the allegations.

In the letter, Miller wrote that the women who made the accusations were “suspicious” and have a “personal and political agenda” against one of his volunteers, him, and their “policy of transparency and accountability.” He named five of the accusers and said they did not first bring their allegations to the County or State Executive Committees or request a third party investigation.

He then wrote that they were attempting to “embarrass and cancel him and his volunteers”, they were “sore losers who failed to win their respective races,” and they were spreading “salacious and false accusations through the Democrat’s propaganda machine.”

Shortly after, a number of Salt Lake County and state leaders responded to Miller’s letter. Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson issued a statement that said they were “deeply offended” by the letter and that “this type of behavior should never happen and when it does, we will not tolerate it, ignore it, or explain it away.”

Just a couple of days after Miller’s letter was sent out, he submitted a resignation e-mail to the Executive Committee. He wrote, “It has been my honor to serve with you over the past 3 years as the Chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Party. However, I made a mistake with how I handled the complaints lodged by Republican women and my communications. I’m sorry.”

However, Miller then filed to run for Chair of the Utah Republican Party, even though its current State Chair, Derek Brown issued a statement that he supported Miller’s resignation from the county GOP party. In that statement, Brown wrote, “On May 1st, the party will elect a new Chair. I am confident our delegates will elect a Chair committed to continuing this work and ensuring that no woman ever has a similar experience again.”

Two of the Republican women who made the accusations joined ABC4’s Emily Florez for an IN FOCUS discussion on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to talk about their experiences and the future of the state’s Republican party. Aimee Winder Newton is a Salt Lake County council member and former Utah gubernatorial candidate. Erin Preston is a Salt Lake City attorney and former candidate for Salt Lake County recorder.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Winder Newton and Preston, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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