Independent U.S. Senate candidate Evan McMullin shakes hands with a member of the audience at the Democratic State Convention at Cottonwood High School in Murray on Saturday, April 23, 2022. McMullin is running for Sen. Mike Lee’s seat.

Katie McKellar, Deseret News

We have attended or closely followed political conventions for almost 50 years (yes, cavemen did hold conventions). Since the gatherings of last week were quite unprecedented (aka weird), we utilize all this experience for some seasoned (old fogey) analysis.

At the GOP convention, Sen. Mike Lee was essentially coronated with over 70% of the delegate vote. Some federal and state incumbent lawmakers came in second, but will still be on the primary ballot. Gov. Spencer Cox and Sen. Mitt Romney were no-shows. Meanwhile, the Democrats refused to nominate a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate, instead supporting independent Evan McMullin. What does all the intrigue and turmoil mean?

Pignanelli: “The most important thing in communication is to hear what is not said.” — Peter Drucker  

Much has been discussed about what occurred at these conventions. Yet, equally important is what did not happen.

The absence of Cox and Romney at the events, regardless of “pre-existing commitments”, is a significant statement. Further, there were no recriminations against Utah GOP Chair Carson Jorgensen for appearing on national television openly attacking these high-profile Republicans. These omissions reveal a rift inside the state’s largest political party. This fissure is more than delegates quibbling with signature-gathering; competing ideologies are involved.

Many Democrat delegates so dislike Lee they are willing to abandon a very credible nominee — Kael Weston — to engage in a coalition with McMullin. The big vacancy in their convention was no one offered any compelling reason to vote for McMullin as a person other than he is not Lee. This unusual strategy would be understandable if the independent candidate was a well-known Utahn beloved for bipartisan community engagement (i.e. Scott Anderson, Gail Miller). Impacts from this perplexing outcome will be felt for years.

The major shifts transforming the nation’s political parties is affecting local politics, as highlighted by notable absences in the recent activities.

Webb: Once again, Republican delegates convincingly demonstrated they are not representative of the party as a whole. A number of popular, respected and accomplished leaders finished second to little-known …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


Utah’s party conventions chose weird unconventional routes |Opinion

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