Candidates for Davis County GOP leadership (2019)

by John Mulholland

It is that time of the election cycle again to choose leadership for Davis County. The Davis County Republican Party has competitive races for both chair and vice-chair and a new location for the organizing convention, to be held April 13 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm MDT at Northridge High School. More information can be found at Here’s some very brief information on the candidates.

For Chair:

  • Daniela Harding
Daniela Harding

Daniela loves the being in the Republican Party. She currently serves as a planning commissioner for Layton and as the LD 16 Chair. Her day job is a licensed independent real estate appraiser.

Now that her youngest child is in school, she has more time to be involved in the party. She thinks it is time for new leadership in Davis County. Some of the qualities she things are very important is being able to listen to everybody’s voice, being fair and reasonable, and be willing to take feedback. It is frequently asking for feedback that has helped her learn and grow. She also sees a need for more efficient meetings. Her talents with wordsmithing allow her to shorten complicated documents to not be as long.

She feels the chair should be neutral by Robert’s Rules, and that they should help build unity in the party. The chair should build collaboration and the county party should be more financially transparent.

As LD 16 Chair she has worked closely with Rep Handy. She believes that the party needs to be doing more to support elected officials.

Daniela believes in Reagan’s Big Tent Philosophy and that the party needs to stop the infighting around the SB 54 issue. Instead party members should come together to focus on finding workable solutions and positive pathways forward.

  • Helen Watts
Helen Watts

Helen is currently serving as party vice-chair. She has goals to unite and organize the party better. Helen wants the party to be W.A.R.M., or When All Republicans Matter. She sees a real need to empower delegates through such things at teaching them the basics of Parliamentary Procedure.  You don’t have to agree on everything. She sees the party like an orchestra with different voices contributing but more organization is needed to make a beautiful symphony.

Helen said the party needs to do more to support candidates and elected officials. She wants to continue to attract young people through programs like Teen Age Republicans (TARS) and hold a mock caucus for students to learn how the system works. She really likes the caucus system as she finds it to be inclusive but she won’t discriminate based on how people choose to run for office.

When asked about civility she mentioned that she helped write the civility pledge with current state vice-chair Kera Birkeland. When asked about transparency, she said she saw a need for a secret ballot due to intimidation. She does have a state bylaw proposal for SCC members to report to their counties, and it should be up to each county how that is done.

  • Teena Horlacher
Teena Porter Horlacher

Despite multiple attempts, Teena said she was too busy to be interviewed for this article.




For Vice-Chair:

  • Karece Thompson
Karece Thompson

Karece currently serves on the Clearfield city council and as the chair of Senate District 21. He is concerned that there is too much elitism in the party and that the party needs to be more welcoming to blue collar workers. Karece has experience working with companies, like Lifetime to improve Clearfield.

Karece really wants to see the caucus enhanced. He feels it is an important tool but needs better absentee balloting as some people have to work. He has even talked to about some potential solutions. They already do university and law firm voting. He would even consider promoting a week-long caucus. Karece wants to involve younger generations and create more inclusive rules.

He is very concerned about the rights of the individual and wants to make sure the caucus engages the rights of the individual. Unfortunately, some people fighting SB54 have called those individuals mob rule.

Karece was disappointed when the current chair turned down a fundraiser that he could have held, only costing $3 a plate. This could have to generate a large profit for the party.

He hopes to get the party back on track as the infighting and passing an illegal bylaw has really hurt the party branding. He hopes to restore more control to the delegates to show them that they can be trusted.

  • Jon-David Jorgensen
Jon-David Jorgensen

Jon-David is a lawyer for Kirton McConkie and was approached to run for vice-chair. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for Davis County. Jon-David is a strong Keep My Voice supporter. He wants to see SB54 repealed and would even consider another lawsuit by the state party, but only if funds used for a lawsuit were donated specifically for that purpose and if the case had a good chance of success on the merits.

Jon-David is a strong supporter of the caucus system and wants to see more people involved, even supporting better absentee ballots. He wants to help people understand their options. Jon-David wants to be able to have popular buy-in with the caucus and shrink the time it takes to attend. People need to have the time and the legislature needs to be accountable to the delegates, not wealthy donors.

He believes in being accountable. Jon-David held a potluck for his precinct and emailed those he represents, explaining why he voted the way he did.

He believes in civility and the values the opinions of others. He would rather focus on what we can accomplish together and attract people to the party by vetting candidates effectively so that voters know what a candidate stands for when they are the Republican nominee.

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