Letter: Contrary to Tribune’s liberal activist, Utah’s caucus and convention system is a pillar of pride

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Jason Preston, left, a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District, and Republican consultant Roger Stone at the Utah Republican Party nominating convention, Saturday, April 23, 2022 in Sandy.

Robert Gehrke, the liberal activist, is at it again. Attacking the Utah caucus and convention system. The very system that has made Utah the place to be. With a Republican supermajority for decades, it’s no wonder Utah has seen booming population growth and economic prosperity that is second to none. Conservative policies work.

The caucus and convention system is a pillar of pride for Utah. Many states throughout the country have moved to a direct primary system, built on expensive TV commercials, fancy mailers to every home that end up in the trash, newspaper headlines that drive a narrative and signature-gatherers at doors with no knowledge of their candidates or cause.

Our Utah system fosters a process where everyday people have the opportunity to run for offices that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive. Instead, the system allows candidates to focus on and reach out to a more manageable number of people who have been entrusted by their neighbors to represent them. Delegates are core to the process.

Delegates are everyday people like you and I. People who are willing to serve and put in the work to vet candidates. Delegates don’t get nearly the credit they deserve. The short six weeks between caucus and convention is filled with cottage meetings, meet-and-greet events, live debates, Zoom calls, emails, texts, phone calls and the convention day itself. Each event allowing people to have one-on-one interaction with their elected officials seeking re-election and the candidates challenging them. The American republic on display, as designed.

This past weekend showed once again that the system works with many races ending with the primary advancement of two candidates. Not the so-called “right wing extremist takeover” that Gehrke likes to sell.

Skyler Beltran, Utah County Republican Party chair

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