As Donald Trump implodes, and (perhaps) takes the Republican Party with him, finger-pointing abounds. Why should I resist the temptation?
I have written before in this space about my dismay that Republican Party officials signed on with Trump long before there was any need to. Whatever one may say about the need for party loyalty after Cleveland, Trump’s unacceptability to Utah Republicans was glaringly obvious when Utahns For Trump was organized, way back in February.
Three elected party leaders were part of this effort, and my finger is now pointing at them, and at one of them specifically, my own state representative and Speaker of the House Greg Hughes. Stuart Adams, the Senate Majority Whip, is not up for re-election this year, so his constituents will have to wait to impose on him what discipline they choose, tho his Senate colleagues might want to consider appropriate action. As they might for Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund. He is up for re-election, but he has no opponent, and so will pay no price with the voters.
Which leaves Greg Hughes. Donald Trump did not prevail in Utah, a fact of which we can be proud. But that he did not was not the fault of Mr. Hughes, who did his best for him, even at a time when there were a dozen reasonable alternatives.
Mr. Hughes announcement of his support for Trump, while coming unattractively early, was nonetheless too late for an effective primary challenge. That leaves only a write-in candidacy.
In Utah, write-in votes are counted only if the candidate has filed a notice of candidacy with the Lieutenant Governor’s office (as egregious an example of incumbent protection as I can think of since the 2003 repeal of term limits). As a resident of the 51st House District, I have filed such a notice, and consequently, any write-in votes cast for me by mail or in person will be counted. I have announced this fact to a limited number of Draper residents, but lacking the time, energy, and money to mount a real campaign, this quixotic gesture will have to do.
This effort will make no impression on Greg Hughes, or on the likelihood of his re-election. Nonetheless, if any Draperites agree with me that there should be some political price for the egregious lapse in judgment which Mr. Hughes has displayed with his gushing enthusiasm for Mr. Trump, they may feel free to write in my name when they cast their ballots.