Candidates for Utah County GOP leadership (2019)

by John Mulholland

Another county convention is upon us and we have four competitive leadership races. On Saturday, April 27, 2019, at Mountain View High School, the Utah County Republican Party will hold its organizing convention. More information can be found at    

Candidates for Chair:

(Written by John Mulholland)

  • Ben Stanley

Ben Stanley

Ben Stanley is a lawyer that works with technology firms. He believes that clear procedure and professional behavior is needed in the party to overcome the current infighting. And as we generate more unity, we will generate more enthusiasm and participation in the party. Ben said we need to move beyond the SB54 fight and make the caucus and convention inspiring and productive experiences for delegates.

Ben is no stranger to dealing with difficult situations and was asked to run by multiple sides. He helped United Airlines avoid bankruptcy, which got very heated at times. He was also on the city council of Pleasant Grove as they were negotiating a bond. Ben helped them reach a compromise. He said that his role as chair would be to remain neutral and help the county focus on electing Republicans and growing the party.

Ben has a vision for improving and growing the party by better-utilizing technology. The State Central Committee needs to be more accessible for people to attend, especially those that have to travel far distances.

He believes that it is people being surprised that causes many of the issues we see. Ben believes in fair notice, open meetings, and opportunities to be heard help a party to run better. He believes that the more sunlight, the better, and we can utilize our website to help share more information with those that are interested.

  • Stewart Peay

Stewart Peay

Stewart is also a lawyer that works with technology firms. He believes that Utah is at a turning point, especially in Salt Lake County. The state is becoming more and more Democrat. Utah County needs to be a source of strength for the state, especially the 4th congressional district. The county party needs to run up the numbers.

Stewart learned in the military to plan back from where you want to be to where you are and thinks that the county party should take the same approach. We need to build for the future and that means getting young people involved. We have 80,000 college student in Utah County and they need to be mobilized.

In order to do that, we need to modernize the party and the caucus. Stewart mentioned that a lot of young families and people traveling can’t attend caucus night but we need to find a way for them to participate. He said that he has the experience and the connections to get this done.

Stewart also believes that he has the experience and connections with local businesses to fundraise and motivate people to volunteer. His first priority will be to engage volunteers. They are the key to engaging voters and reaching out to neighbors and friends. He believes that we must also be as transparent, especially when elections are involved.

Candidates for Vice Chair: 

(Written by John Mulholland)

  • Carolina Herrin

Carolina Herrin

Carolina has been very active in the party, serving in various leadership positions, including various leadership roles in a bipartisan Women’s Legislative Council, and the State Central Committee for the last two years. She has also helped with various campaigns and with things like the Lincoln Day Dinner, the big county fundraiser for the year.

She sees a real need to move past the negativity and focus on what the party can be. In order to do this, we must increase our outreach. As the Lincoln Day Dinner Co-chair, she helped Rob Craig bring more students to meet with Dennis Praeger, the Lincoln Day speaker, earlier in the day so they could listen to him speak. She was even able to personally secure a sponsor so they could come for free.

In addition, she worked with Carlos Moreno to organize the first Latino Town Hall. This brought close to 300 Utah Latinos together with Republican leaders. Carolina also has professional experience as a corrections officer, a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, and as a special agent for the Attorney General’s office.

If elected, she wants to focus on her primary duty of assisting the chair. Beyond that, here priorities are to Keep Utah County Republican, Outreach / Education, and Efficient Caucus. We need to make our caucuses strong again and make sure we put the right people in the right spots. In order to overcome the infighting, she said that we need to focus on what we have in common.

  • Travis Hoban

Travis Hoban

Travis Hoban is a Chief Technology Officer of a company with about 150 employees. His job is to surface good ideas for those that work for him. He currently serves as a precinct chair and helps run a GOP young delegates which encourages younger Republicans to get more involved, especially as delegates.

Travis thinks we need to keep reaching out to people, especially through the use of technology. He wants technology that enables people, instead of disabling them. We need to have a broader spectrum of people involved. He strongly believes in the Republican Party Platform and wants to move the party forward. He thought the intent of the Voatz app was good but that things need to be more thoroughly.

Travis also wants to use more big data when we reach different people, including donors. What donors are we targeting? He said that many party members have been turned off by the infighting. We should have been knocking doors instead of holding meetings to help Mia Love win CD4.

He does believe that the current chair handled things well and we all play a role in contributing or taking away from the party. He is glad that the lawsuit is over and the courts have weighed in. Travis hopes to see less focus on the lawsuit and is glad to see some of the more polarizing figures not running. He has seen where people have felt cornered and that is never a good thing. Travis believes that he comes us much less threatening to people.

With transparency, Travis feels county committee meetings should not be secret or private, and that meeting minutes and votes should be made public.

Candidates for Secretary:

(Interviewed by Kraig Thorne)

  • Karen Ellingson

Why are you running?

Karen Ellingson

I’ve learned over the years that if I want to get a job done well it’s crucial to be well-prepared and equipped. I want to make sure everyone in the party has the tools they need to succeed as we work together to strengthen the party and win elections. I have had the opportunity over the years to be involved with the party at the precinct level, the district level, and as a volunteer at events and conventions. I’ve also been a candidate for office and have interacted with the party on that level. Interacting as I have gives me a great picture of exactly how important it is to have as much information as possible available, to have delegate lists that are up to date and easily accessible, and to be well organized as a Party. If I fulfill my responsibilities right everyone will be better able to fulfill theirs.

Would you be in support of creating a scholarship fund for leaders of the College Republicans if they increased their membership to several hundred and were able to get at least 100 of their members to volunteer at party events (like conventions and CC meetings) and on Republican campaigns?

I think the idea of a scholarship is worth looking at, but in order for it to become a reality, we would need to step up our fundraising efforts. I think it’s very important for us as a Party to involve the college republicans more and support them. Another idea would be to help connect college Republicans who volunteer with the Party with political internships and campaign employment opportunities.

What is your background?

I’ve lived and served in Utah County and I have had the opportunity to met and get to know people all over the county through my service. I serve locally on the planning commission in Springville, I’ve been a precinct chair, and I’m currently the legislative district 64 vice chair. I’ve volunteered to help at many County and State Party events and have worked to get to know the process and the people who make things happen. I received my Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho and my Master’s degree in Public Administration from BYU. I worked for a couple of years for Provo City in the Mayor’s office and in Customer Service as a business analyst intern doing lots of research and working with data. My political experience, as well as my work experience and education, all make me well qualified to serve as secretary.

Will you use party money to file new lawsuits on SB54?

Whereas that fight has already seen its day with the Supreme Court, I don’t think it’s productive to continue to pursue lawsuits. I think if we want to strengthen the caucus system our efforts would be best served in improving the caucus night experience and helping people who don’t normally want to be involved to understand and value what we do.

Will you sign Kera’s (candidate for Vice Chair of the Republican Party) pledge?

I’m not familiar with Kera’s pledge, but I always work hard to give civility and honesty the highest priority in any campaign.

Do we need more or less transparency in the UCRP?

I think we could do more to be transparent. I would like to see more information on the website and social media than what we currently have. At any time you should be able to go to the website and have a good understanding of what’s going on with the Party.

How would you bring more money into the UCRP?

We have lost some donors in recent years as the media focus has been on the internal workings and disputes within the party. One step we can take would be to build bridges and work on reaching out to those who have become disaffected with the party. Another is to attach purpose to donations. People feel it’s important to know that when they give money it’s going to have purpose and results. Always let people know where their money will go and how it will help and outcomes we will work to achieve. We can then show results and hold ourselves accountable for how we have used donations.

  • John Morris

(Interviewed by Kraig Thorne)

John Morris

Why are you running?

​If we are going to get the Party back on track to support its principles and ideals, we need to get back to business. I have over 10 years of service for the Party, as a state and county delegate, a current precinct chair and former Chair of the Audit Committee. I have seen what works, what doesn’t and I can help support the delegates and candidates with that experience.

Would you be in support of creating a scholarship fund for leaders of the College Republicans if they increased their membership to several hundred and were able to get at least 100 of their members to volunteer at party events (like conventions and CC meetings) and on Republican campaigns?

If the College Republicans are an integral part of the party, it would do well to support them at college, where they are often attacked for their views. This will also depend on bringing more fundraising into the party.

What is your background?

I have a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Chemistry and Criminology, and an MBA in Government Law Management. I have worked in Regulatory Affairs for over 11 years where I oversee large and international projects that require strict timelines and specific tasks. It’s like the combo of an executive secretary and project manager.

Will you use party money to file new lawsuits on SB54?

The issue of SB54 has been seen all the way up to the Supreme Court. The issue, if it is taken up, should be back in the legislature where the problem was created.

Will you sign Kera’s (the Vice Chair of the Republican Party) pledge?

I would be glad to.

Do we need more or less of it in the UCRP?

We always need more transparency. As it’s been said, transparency is the sunlight that cleans away the darkness. I believe that we should have the executive meetings and central committee meetings broadcast live, recorded and available online afterward, in case anyone would like to review them.

How would you bring more money to the UCRP?

We need to change the culture of the average delegate and member that the funding of the party is our individual responsibility. As much as we really need to have large donors to step up and fund large efforts, if we want to own all the parts of the party, we need to become grassroots driven in our funding as well.

Personal Note- I have known and worked with John and Karen on Republican campaigns and party activities.  They are both outstanding people and we will be lucky to have either of them as our party Secretary. Kraig

Candidates for Treasurer:

(Written by Nicki Brammer)

  • Brandon Loveland

Brandon Loveland

Brandon Loveland is a lifelong Republican and has been actively supporting the party in many leadership roles including current Legislative Chair District 59, Precinct Chair, Vice-Chair, State Delegate, County Delegate, Constitution & Bylaws Committee 2017. He participates in political groups at UVU and on Facebook. Brandon has been working at all levels of management for O’Reilly Auto Parts for the last two decades and will graduate soon with a degree in Political Science (minors in History and Constitutional Studies). He also works part-time for the Center of Constitutional Studies at UVU.

He doesn’t consider himself a traditional accountant-type but highlighted, “I have years of retail management experience, including familiarity with P&L reporting, budgets, goal tracking and the like. I am a fiscally responsible person and will ensure that the party funds are managed with attention to detail, stewardship, and responsibility.” He values transparency in the role of treasurer, he feels that the current UCRP treasurer has done a good job so there isn’t a lot to change, but he would be as open as possible to help party members understand the financial reports. He suggested that utilizing technology like Venmo might be an easy way to improve donations since many people don’t carry cash anymore, and in summary, “Having a plan to seek donations at caucus night and prioritizing that is important.” Brandon is a strong supporter of the caucus, and although he doesn’t like SB54, he doesn’t think we should waste any more money on it, he feels we need focus on the bigger issue of bringing the party together “to get quality candidates and show the value of the caucus system.”

  • Skyler Beltran

Skyler Beltran

Skyler Beltran is a millennial Republican who feels like it’s time to not be on the sidelines anymore. He has served as Precinct Vice-Chair. Having worked hard in the Mia Love race, he felt like running for UCRP treasurer is a great way to be engaged and involved. Skyler worked for a national retailer as a General Manager with budget accountability of $17 million and supervised over 130 associates. A few years ago he changed professions and became a realtor in Utah County. He feels that his business experience has prepared him well for the duties of UCRP Treasurer.

Skyler is a strong supporter of the caucus system and would like to see SB54 repealed through the legislative process, but will follow the law of the land and feels that the party needs to move forward. “We need to educate better. We need better grassroots. We need to strengthen our party more.” Skyler recognizes the growth of the Democratic party recently and feels that we need to start building now for 2020 by highlighting the objective: “to elect Republicans and support the platform.” He is supportive of transparency and supports role call votes wherever time isn’t prohibitive. His touts these four qualities in his service as treasurer: passionate, transparent, engaged, and experienced.


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