The Dust Settles on UT-3’s GOP Primary

Until now, we haven’t seen much effect from SB54, the bill that allows candidate to still get on a primary ballot even if they don’t make it in the top two at the convention. This is now only the second GOP primary in Utah where a signature gatherer defeated at convention beat the top vote-getter, and we will feel the repercussions for a while. This was a strange one, in that Jason Chaffetz resigned in the middle of his term, and Gov. Herbert butted heads with then Utah GOP-chair James…

Meet the candidates for CD3: Brad Daw

This is one of a series of profiles on candidates for the 3rd Congressional District, which is expected to be vacant when Congressman Jason Chaffetz resigns his office at the end of June. Brad is a software engineer who has spent 10 years serving in the legislature. He has successfully worked on many tough issues including opioid abuse, health care reform, election transparency, payday lenders, and medical cannabis. While some groups have failed to make much progress pushing for much larger goals with cannabis, Brad successfully passed a bill which…

Rob Anderson elected as new Utah GOP Chair

The Utah GOP Convention was held at the Southtown Expo Center last Saturday. It’s an exciting time, not only because the party officers are up for election, but there’s jockeying for position for hopefuls vying for the soon-to-be-vacant seat of Jason Chaffetz. The usual signs and T-shirts blanketing the place. I was able to listen to each candidate for Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary, not to mention the CD3 possibles in Deidre Henderson, Brad Daw, and Margaret Dayton. I know other people have joined, but these three feel like the real race.…

Utah Legislature Leadership Races and Rumors

Just when you thought elections were over, there are a whole new round of elections–at the Utah Legislature–taking place today. Tonight, the Utah House and Senate will elect their leadership for the next two years. With Speaker Becky Lockhart’s decision not to not run for reelection, the House will be electing a new speaker and a new slate of leadership as everyone attempts to scramble up the chain. In the House there is not a filing deadline, meaning candidates could still jump into the races.  There is a chance the…

Automatic Endorsement: A “Professional Courtesy” That Needs to End

As former Attorneys General John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff headed off to jail Tuesday, I couldn’t help but think of the long list of elected officials that have endorsed their campaigns. In fact, Swallow’s list of endorsements reads like a who’s who of GOP elected officials in Utah. I’m sure a lot of them are left with a very strong sense of buyer’s remorse (some more than others). I think this also underscores a very distasteful cultural practice in party politics: the expectation that elected officials will automatically provide their…

Ten Utah Races To Watch On Primary Night

Early voting in the Utah Primary ends today, and the Primary Election will be on Tuesday, June 24. With no statewide or federal offices grabbing headlines, it might be easy to forget that there’s a primary at all. But there is, and here’s ten races that you should keep your eyes on. 

Buzz: Dana Layton reports no expenditures in the LD60 race

Candidates have started filing their pre-convention disclosure reports and Dana Layton’s seems to have a serious discrepancy. While she lists a balance forward from her previous campaign and a $500 donation from Utah Bankers Association PAC, she doesn’t any expenditures at all. Assuming she had to at least pay a filing fee to run, this would seem to be a completely inaccurate report. This comes after missing the disclosure filing deadline earlier this week. That could raise questions from her challenger, Brad Daw, who was defeated in 2012 following a…

Snapshot of GOP Caucus Night #OR28

I attended the GOP caucus for Orem Precinct 28 – the Fighting 28th! – on the evening of March 20. I preregistered online and also checked the boxes of the offices for which I planned to run. I was able to give my printout and show my driver’s license to the lady in charge of last names E-L. She’s known me for over ten years, but they still made sure everyone had their ID. We had the gymnasium of Orem Elementary. In 2012, we’d been assigned an arts & crafts…

Brad Daw “considering” running for House again

Former House Representative Brad Daw of Orem has confirmed he’s “considering” running for office again after he was vindicated in a vicious smear campaign orchestrated by John Swallow consultant Jason Powers. Daw served four terms in the House before losing in the 2012 GOP primary to challenger Dana Layton after an avalanche of negative ads funded by a Powers PAC that didn’t like his stance on the payday-loan industry. “My biggest concern is gauging public interest.”

Buzz: GOP facing an X Chromosome Deficit in the House

Unless there is a dramatic shift in the political landscape, next year will see only two Republican women in the Utah House of Representatives. With Speaker Becky Lockhart retiring at the end of the session, presumably to begin a run for the Governor’s office, and Representative Ronda Menlove announcing on Wednesday that she will not seek reelection, the House will be down to just Representative Becky Edwards of North Salt Lake and Representative Dana Layton of Orem. Rumors are swirling that Layton will face a challenge from former Representative Brad…