Don Peay poses for a portrait outside of the Capitol in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

In 2019, Don Peay was one of Donald Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters. The Bountiful father of four best known for his hunting and wildlife advocacy managed Trump’s 2016 campaign in Utah and was happy with Trump’s achievements throughout his presidency.

“Sometimes he’s inartful, but bold leaders are at times,” he told me back then, adding, “He works harder and plays less than any president in the last 50 years.”

Last fall, when Trump was flirting with a 2024 run, I reached out to Peay, founder of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, to see where he stood on Trump after everything that’s happened since Jan. 6, 2021. He said he was no longer in Trump’s camp, but didn’t want to talk about it.

That’s no longer the case.

Trump, Peay now says, cannot win in 2024 and his scorched-earth candidacy makes it more likely that a Democrat will sit in the Oval Office for another four years — maybe even eight, if a younger candidate replaces Joe Biden on the ticket.

Peay says it pains him to say this publicly; he is friendly with Trump’s sons, with whom he has hunted, and knows well how Trump can turn on people he considers disloyal. “I value loyalty above everything else — more than brains, more than drive and more than energy,” the former president once wrote.

There’s also the fact that Peay, a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who served a mission in Australia, genuinely appreciates what Trump did as president, from having the Tabernacle Choir perform at his inauguration to delivering on his promise to appoint conservative Supreme Court justices. Despite his moral failings of years past, Trump is more aligned with religious values than people give him credit for, Peay says, and it bothers him that some Christians have shown an unwillingness to forgive Trump’s transgressions, as their faith demands.

“Sometimes we are too judgmental, and fail to live what we are taught — forgive and forget and move forward. America and the world could use …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


Can Donald Trump win? His biggest supporter in Utah in 2016 says no

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