SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The Utah Republican party hosted its state organizing convention on Saturday, and it included a change of leadership.

Previous chair Carson Jorgensen decided not to seek a second term, and Robert Axson is taking the job for at least the next two years.

“A few years ago, I was the state party vice-chair when Derek Brown was the party chairman,” Axson said. “During that period we started off, we were a half million dollars in debt. We certainly had a mountain to climb as it pertains to fundraising. We were able to retire that debt, no I’m looking forward to what we can build. That experience I had of retiring the debt I think prepares us now for what we do moving forward.”

Moving forward includes a big election cycle in 2024.

“I think we have to build the party structure so that it can be seen as being strong,” Axson said. “We’ve got some work to do, so that has to be the focus over these next two years. Making sure that when you ask yourself, ‘Is the Utah Republican Party strong? You can also answer about the party itself and say yes, it’s strong.’ Once you do that, then you can navigate complex elections like the 2024 presidential election. We’ll have certainly some compelling races here in Utah. You can navigate those while also engaging into new communities, younger generations and what not.”

Axson joins us this week on Inside Utah Politics to discuss his vision and strategy as he takes the lead role for the party.