SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – The Utah Republican Party is set to have their annual convention Saturday. Delegates will vote on who will be chairman, and if they want to add support for medical marijuana to the party platform.
A new field of Republican candidates for the soon to be vacant third congressional district seat will also use the convention to introduce themselves to voters.
The majority will be focusing on the raise for who will lead the Utah GOP in the future. Current Chairman James Evans is running for a third term. His opponents are current Vice Chairman Phill Wright, and Rob Anderson.
Anderson has been making his case to delegates, and believes he could bring some new ideas to the party.
“I think in the past the party has been a little more reactive, and I think we need to take a proactive stance on some things,” said Anderson. “We need to look outside the box so that things don’t surprise us.”
Wright is running for several reasons including that he doesn’t believe any chairman should serve more than two terms. He believes the party has been doing well at winning seats, but needs to improve in other areas.
“I think the biggest issue we have is a communication issue. I keep telling people the mission of our party is to promote our platform,” said Wright. “Because when we promote our platform we bring more people in.”
Chairman Evans pushed back against the issue of serving a third term, noting it’s a volunteer position and others have served that long in the past. Evans notes the party has led several court challenges, and he wants to continue his efforts with lawmakers, donors, and the grass roots of the party.
“The main reason that I’m running for another term is to make sure we can be successful in that effort to bring all sides back together and continue to be successful,” said Evans.
The debate over medical marijuana is also expected to be a big issue among the delegates.
Those candidates running for the third congressional seat will also need to use the convention to get their message out. They only have a few months to campaign before the elections.