The United Utah Party held its first convention on Saturday, June 17, at Corner Canyon High School in Draper. The convention delegates unanimously nominated Jim Bennett as the party’s candidate for the Third Congressional District special election. The Utah Elections Office denied Bennett’s application as a candidate of the party on May 26 as well as the party’s request that Bennett be allowed to file provisionally while the Utah Elections Office completed the certification of the party. The party is planning to file a lawsuit early this week to challenge the Utah Election Office’s decision. Also, the Utah Elections Office has failed to certify the party more than three weeks after the party submitted its required paperwork and 2000 signatures, although election officials have told United Utah Party representatives unofficially that the party has met the qualifications.
The party also approved its platform, as well as its constitution and bylaws. Officers for the party were elected at the convention. They are Richard Davis of Orem as party chair; Aaron Aizad of Sandy as vice-chair; Deon Turley, Provo, as secretary; and Vaughn Cook, Mapleton, as treasurer.
Approximately 60 people attended the new party’s first convention. “We are pleased that there is growing interest in the party,” said Richard Davis, chair. “We know we will start small, but grow over time as more Utah voters realize there is a new alternative to the left or the right represented in the Democrats and the Republicans. We also are delighted that Jim is willing to run this race and represent us in the special election."