Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Former Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon is seeking election as chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.
Utah's political parties to prune candidates
Politics » Conventions to determine GOP, Dems’ nominees.
First Published Apr 23 2014 05:39 pm • Last Updated Apr 23 2014 11:23 pm

Delegates to the Republican and Democratic state conventions Saturday will work to narrow the field of candidates in all four of Utah’s U.S. House districts and will also select a new chairman of the Utah Democratic Party.

They will vote on potential nominees in a dozen multicounty seats in the Legislature. And because some of those races have only Republican candidates, delegates to the GOP convention could determine some final winners.

At a glance

On Saturday

» Utah Republican Convention, 10 a.m., South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State St., in Sandy.

» Utah Democratic Convention, 10:30 a.m., Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center, 100 S. West Temple, in Salt Lake City.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The state Republican convention is Saturday at 10 a.m. at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy. Democrats gather at 10:30 a.m. at the Calvin L. Rampton Salt Palace Convention Center in downtown Salt Lake City.

If candidates receive 60 percent of delegate votes, they advance to the Nov. 4 final election. Otherwise, the top two face off in a June 24 primary.

Saturday may be the last time the conventions wield such power. A new law will allow candidates in two years to avoid the convention system and appear on the primary ballot by gathering signatures from registered voters.

However, Utah Republican Chairman James Evans has said his party may challenge that law in court, contending it interferes with how that party chooses its nominees. Supporters of the new system contend convention delegates are more ideologically extreme than most Utahns, and select nominees outside the mainstream.

GOP delegates Saturday will consider a resolution arguing that the change in the convention system is unconstitutional. They will also consider a measure calling on the Legislature to make races for all school boards partisan and another supporting transfer of federal lands to states and declaring that Utah should act to protect its sovereign rights.

4th District • The state’s most expensive race so far is to replace retiring Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, and Republicans and Democrats have convention contests for the seat.

Republican Mia Love, who narrowly lost to Matheson two years ago, seeks to become the first GOP black woman in Congress. She has raised more than $2 million this election cycle and still has $632,000 in the bank.

story continues below
story continues below

Facing her is Bob Fuehr, a former executive with US West, who is financing his candidacy out of his own pocket. He has loaned $281,000 to his campaign, although he has repaid himself more than $90,000 of that.

"I’m excited for convention. I really can’t wait. It’s been a lot of fun for me, and meeting delegates is my favorite part of the campaign," Love said. She adds she has met so often with many delegates "that I’ve gotten to know them very well. They’ve become personal good friends of mine."

She said the biggest issues for her and delegates include "the national debt, deficit spending and, of course, Obamacare. They, like me, are worried about the overreach of the federal government." Love adds that she is "taking nothing for granted" but feels from meetings that she has strong support from delegates.

Fuehr said his business background is a key advantage.

"This is the time to send someone with real experience and real accomplishments to Washington, D.C., to better this country. Sound bites and inexperience have been contributing factors to the mess we are currently in."

He said he has been holding nearly daily meetings with delegates discussing the economy, jobs, immigration, public lands, health care and political integrity.

On the Democratic side, Doug Owens — the attorney son of the late Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah — is a heavy favorite against retired engineer Bill Peterson. Owens has raised nearly $133,000 from Democratic power brokers. Peterson has not filed a disclosure form.

Owens said he has spent little on the convention race because Peterson "has not been campaigning at all, so we have been saving our resources" for the November election.

"People are crying for someone willing to work across party lines to do the business of the country and not just hold their breath until they get their way," Owens said. "I’m not the kind of person who supports a government shutdown to make esoteric points."

He also said he chose to run because the American dream is disappearing, and he vows to work to improve the economy and help the middle class.

Peterson is campaigning on one major issue: reducing the deficit. "The deficit is the imbalance of trade. It’s $6 billion a day," he said. "I’ve been working on this for 20 years." He adds that Congress "has about 180 lawyers, and no engineers. I’m an engineer … so I can look at things scientifically." (Congressional Quarterly Roll Call reports Congress has six engineers.)

Next Page >

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.