State Party Chair Faces Challengers at GOP Convention Saturday

(KCPW News) Utah Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright will face two challengers during the state GOP Convention on Saturday, and they’re both calling on the party to preserve the power of delegates. Arnold Gaunt says he wants to bring back the grassroots nature of the party, and he worries the incumbent has strayed from the party constitution. He says the 2012 convention is at the forefront of delegates’ minds as they elect the party chair.

“They want to know that whoever they elect is going to be fair and impartial in that process, there isn’t going to be preferential treatment given towards incumbents.” He says. ” And that is another critical distinction between myself and the incumbent, who’s seeking re-election.”

Candidate Dave Duncan is also critical, saying the traditional powers in the Republican Party are chiefly concerned with securing lobbyist money and preserving the positions of those that are already in power.

“The incumbents have spent well over $10,000 on their campaign.” He says. ” That’s a hard hill to climb up. Plus they have the endorsements of all the party power brokers, so it’s definitely an uphill battle. But my message is a simple one. It’s about the party platform and respecting the voice of the delegates.”

The Republican State Convention takes place tomorrow at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy.  You can listen to a previous interview with incumbent Chairman Thomas Wright on the Politics Up Close page.