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.