A conservative who ran against Sen. Orrin Hatch in 2012 has been elected chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party.
Dale Ash — who did not make it through the state convention against Hatch — won a three-way race against Rick Votaw and Wade Miller to replace Chad Bennion, who resigned in March as he faced a half-dozen domestic-violence charges.
Ash said when he opposed the senator, he visited all 29 counties "because I felt it was important. I will be doing the same thing in Salt Lake County, going to every corner of the county and listening to every Republican to the best of my ability."
He adds, "The clear message I got running [for chairman] is that my primary job is fundraising and helping get Republicans elected, which obviously will be our focus."
Ash said he has worked as a chairman of voting precincts and legislative districts, and has worked on a variety of campaigns and community boards.
"I’m a very open-door kind of person. I like to listen to both sides of issues, and decide what I think the best approach would be," he said.
"I believe that we need to be positive and we need to tell people the positive things that we believe the Republican Party will help them achieve," Ash said.
On some issues, he said, "I believe we need to be frugal with tax dollars. I think it’s not the government paying for things, it’s your neighbors’ sweat and labor that are paying for things."
Ash said, "I want to sell American freedom. I support the Constitution. I believe freedom brings prosperity, and freedom drives innovation that changes the world. I want to make sure that we maintain freedom in this country."
Ash said he spent only $8,000 in his race against Hatch, who spent millions against a big field of conservatives that challenged him.
"My intent," he said, "was to introduce myself and say a few things that I felt needed to be said, and I did that."
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.