Republican delegates set to vote on new party chair


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC4 News) – Republican delegates from across the state will be gathering Saturday for the party’s organizing convention.

The biggest item on the agenda is picking a new leader.

The gathering has gained a reputation over the years, and Jason Perry with the Hinckley Institute of Politics says to expect more of the same.

“Tomorrow will be long, and it will be mostly painful and there will be a lot of contention, but in the end, I predict there’s some resolution. We will have a new chair, and that chair is going to help set the tone for the party,” said Perry.

Definitely a new chair because Rob Anderson decided not to make another run after his first term.

Four candidates stepped up to replace him at the top of Utah’s most dominant political party:

-Former state lawmaker and former Senator Lee staffer Derek Brown

-Former Utah GOP vice chair Phill Wright

-Chairman of the Utah Republican Veterans Caucus Chadwick Fairbanks

-Political newcomer Sylvia Miera-Fisk

Hear more from each of them in this week’s episode of the Inside Utah Politics pocast>>

Perry says the winner will have a big job ahead of them.

“I think it’s imperative the party pick someone who can mend the fences, that can bring the party into relevance again. People in Utah have been very tired of hearing about the dysfunction, and the fights over certain things are making it so people are not contributing and participating,” he said.

So, who is likely to walk away with the new title?

Perry says Brown is in a good position with some high profile endorsements on his side.

“Senator Mike Lee has endorsed Derek Brown, the governor has endorsed Derek Brown. That carries a lot of weight from all ends of the spectrum of the party and I think that’s going to carry a lot of weight,” Perry said.

The convention gets underway at 10 a.m. at Utah Valley University.

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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...