Deseret News reported on the lawsuit filed by the United Utah Party to get Jim Bennett on the special elections ballot. "It doesn't take 30 days to look at our constitutional bylaws," United Utah Party Chairman Richard Davis said. "These are not very lengthy. In fact, they told us informally a couple weeks ago that they had finished."
United Utah Party Holds First Convention, Nominates Jim Bennett for Third Congressional District Special Election
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.Read more
Check out this Salt Lake Tribune article on United Utah Party's lawsuit to get onto the special election ballot to replace Utah's 3rd District Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
"Even as the fledgling party filed the lawsuit, United Utah Chairman Richard Davis said his group is not seeking to disrupt the special election process Gov. Gary Herbert put in place. Moreover, the party is not out to insert itself into legislators' beef with the governor over who has authority to set the rules for such an election. 'Our complaint only asks that Jim Bennett be placed on the ballot,' Davis said."
Video from Jim Bennett: https://vimeo.com/222427211
Jim Bennett, son of former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, said today he intends to run as a United Utah Party candidate rather than as an unaffiliated candidate to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Ut., in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.
Bennett filed for the vacant Congressional seat on May 26, but Utah Elections Director Mark Thomas rejected the application as a candidate because the United Utah Party had not been certified as a qualified political party.
“It is unfortunate,” Bennett said. “In just a few weeks we’ve heard from thousands of registered Utah voters who want this to happen. What a shame it would be to refuse their democratic action.”
Bennett and the United Utah Party are proceeding with confidence. On Saturday at Corner Canyon High School in Draper, the party will hold its first convention where members will officially nominate Bennett for the special elections race.
"We are pleased that Jim Bennett wants to run in the special election as our party's candidate and we hope that he can do so," said Richard Davis, United Utah Party chair. "We know many Utahns want to him to be able to run as a party candidate.”
While Bennett and his party are doing everything possible to comply with the law, they are seeking help from the law. A legal challenge is moving forward that would assure Bennett can run as a duly elected official of his party. Bennett expects the challenge will succeed, although he remains hopeful that such legal action will not be necessary and that the Lieutenant Governor’s office will agree to allow Bennett to appear on the special ballot as the United Utah Party candidate.
“Utahns have acted with faith in democracy and their elected officials,” Bennett said. “They deserve this.”
Read Richard Davis's Guest Editorial in the Daily Herald:
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The United Utah Party is holding house parties in various parts of the state over the next few weeks. The purpose is to inform voters about what the party is, why we formed, and what we hope to accomplish.
Please take a look at the Events link of this website to see if there is one coming up that is near you. If so, please come. Also, invite your friends to come and learn more about the party.
The Deseret News published this op ed piece about the Utah Elections Office's refusal to let Jim file as the United Utah Party candidate. More perplexing still, they're also refusing to give a reason:
The United Utah Party will hold a nominating convention on Saturday, June 17, from 10 am to noon at Corner Canyon High School in Draper. The main purpose of the convention will be to nominate a candidate for the Third Congressional District special election race. According to the timetable of the special election set by the Utah Elections Office, political parties seeking to nominate a candidate for the special election must do so by June 19 and forward that name to the Utah Elections Office.
"Anticipating certification shortly, we are seeking to comply with the law in order to have a candidate on the ballot in November under our party's banner," said party chair Richard Davis.
The new party submitted its petition signatures and other materials on May 26 for certification of a party. The Utah Elections Office has yet to officially certify the party, even though the party submitted 700 more signatures than was required to be certified.
"We anticipate we will be certified shortly and will be able to conduct business as an officially qualified political party in the state of Utah," Davis explained. "That means voters will have another alternative to the two major parties that have become increasingly extreme."
Only one candidate, Jim Bennett, son of former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, filed as a candidate for the special election under the United Utah Party label. The Utah Elections Office rejected his filing, although the party is preparing legal action to challenge that decision.
“I’m thrilled to represent the United Utah Party in this campaign,” Bennett said. “It’s time that Utahns had a real choice at the ballot box, as opposed to having to pick between an uncompetitive Democrat and the party of Trump.”
According to Davis, the party's first convention business also will include the election of officers, the formation of county party organizations, and the approval of a platform as well as a constitution and bylaws. The party will not elect delegates at caucuses. Instead, all party members (those officially registered voters who have affiliated with the party through their voter registration forms) will be invited to participate. Voter registration forms will be provided at the convention to register to vote as members of the United Utah Party.
The United Utah Party convention is open to the public and free of charge