Candidate Conscience vs Party Line

Candidate Conscience vs Party Line


Sometimes people will tell us that political party doesn't really matter. Why don't our candidates simply run as moderate Republicans, or moderate Democrats, and then they would be able to get elected and vote their consciences anyway? Well, that is not how it works.

The party caucuses in the Utah state legislature, and the party activists in their respective districts, expect conformity from legislators in their party. There is a lot of pressure within the caucuses and the party membership to conform to what the party wants. Without exception, legislators are supposed to vote with the party.

Take the case of Representative Christine Watkins. She represented Carbon County as a Democrat for several years before losing her bid for re-election in 2012. Then, she switched parties and ran as a Republican in 2016. She won and currently serves in the legislature as a Republican.


A colleague of mine did a study of Watkins' voting record while she was a Democratic legislator and then again when she became a Republican legislator. One might expect that Watkins would have basically the same voting record. She was the same person and she represented the same district. She probably faced many of the same issues.

But that is not what happened. When she was a Democrat, she voted with Representative Brian King, one of the more liberal members of the House, a whopping 93 percent of the time. However, after she became a Republican, she voted with then-Speaker Greg Hughes, a very conservative member of the legislature, 95 percent of the time. There were 96 members of the House who voted closer to Rep. King than Christine Watkins, after she became a Republican.


What happened? The difference was the influence of party. She had to tow the party line to make the party caucus and local Democrats, and then later Republicans, happy.

What is the message for the United Utah Party? Even a moderate candidate who gets elected is driven to the left or the right by the party caucus and the activists in his or her district. If they want support for their renomination, if they want to get ahead in the party legislative caucus, they must tow the party line.

It is better for a moderate to run as a United Utah Party candidate and maintain their principles than to run as a Republican or a Democrat and then move to the extremes to satisfy an extremist political party. Our party is moderate to begin with. Our activists won't demand ideological extremism. They will expect moderation, practicality, and common sense.


Help the UUP recruit and elect candidates who can beat the extremists and restore moderation to the Utah State Legislature, and Utah government generally.

Go to to volunteer and donate. And share this message with others who you know are dissatisfied with politics as usual and want an alternative!

Screen_Shot_2017-12-31_at_8.07.14_PM.png Richard Davis, Chair

Explore Ranked Choice Voting! 


WHAT: Ranked Choice Voting 101
WHEN: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 6:30-8 p.m.
WHERE: J. Reuben Clark Law School, 341 E Campus Drive, Provo, UT 84602
COST: Free!

Last year Governor Gary Herbert signed Utah House Bill 35 (HB0035) allowing municipalities to pilot ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting. Therefore, this year, two Utah County municipalities—Payson and Vineyard—will be piloting ranked choice voting.

Join the Emerging Leaders Initiative of Utah and the BYU Law School Government & Politics Legal Society THIS WEDNESDAY to learn more about how ranked choice voting works and how it could expand to more areas throughout Utah.


At this event you'll be taught by experts such as Rep. Marc Roberts (who sponsored the ranked choice voting bill in 2018) and Utah County Clerk, Amelia P. Gardner, on how this voting system works, how it eliminates the “spoiler effect” and the pros & cons of implementing this system here in Utah.

Best of all, this event is COMPLETELY FREE. However, pre-registration is required, so RSVP here. Bring your friends, neighbors, classmates and coworkers. Light refreshments will be served. See you there!

For questions, contact ELI Utah at [email protected].

UUP Fundraiser: Meet Evan McMullin


The UUP will hold its 1st Annual Uniter Golden Spike Award Fundraiser on Wednesday, November 6th at the Alta Club in Salt Lake City. 

The 2019 Honoree is Evan McMullin, former 2016 independent presidential candidate. Evan is an Utah native, former CIA officer, investment banker and House Foreign Affairs Senior policy analyst. Evan and his 2016 vice presidential running mate, Mindy Finn, co-founded Stand Up Republic.

The UUP is pleased to give Evan an award for his work "to grow a community of Americans to defend democratic ideals, norms and institutions." The cost per person is $100 and includes a full, delicious buffet lunch prepared by the Alta Club's chefs. Money raised this year will further our effort to change the political landscape of Utah. 


Please RSVP by Monday, October 21st, at this link should you choose to attend. If you are unable to join us, please consider donating to the United Utah Party or sharing your time with us by volunteering.

Boost the Term Limits Initiative

The signature gathering process continues! We have started to see signatures trickle in across the state. Thank you to those who are finding time to go out and gather signatures from family, friends, and strangers!


It's going to be a huge climb to get to our summitabout 116,000 signatures. And we only have about 120 days left before all signatures must be gathered.

Term limits enjoy huge support. Most people, when asked if they support term limits, are nearly grabbing the petitions out of our hands. They can't sign fast enough!

But will we be able to get enough petitions in front of enough voters to get enough signatures in time to get on the ballot? Well, that depends on you.Screen_Shot_2019-07-23_at_11.18.09_AM.png

First, please spread the word. Go to our Unite 4 Term Limits Facebook page and share, share, share! Invite your friends to like the page. Share our links and posts.

If you can, please share this link on your social media, or email to friends:

No, signing electronically won't count toward getting the 116,000 signatures needed (we wish! we could be done tomorrow!), but we will get those who electronically sign in touch with signature gathers in their area so that they can hopefully get their signatures on the petition.

A HUGE way that you can help is by making a donation. Click HERE to support us financially today. Every dollar counts, and every dollar will be used to help get more signatures on the petition.


Finally, we'd love your help in gathering signatures too. Would you be willing to take a packet around your neighborhood? Spend a couple of hours in front of a post office gathering? Then visit our volunteer page today. We'll get you hooked up with a leader in your area who can get packets to you. Again, every signature gathered gets us one step closer to our goal.

Thanks so much for your support on this great initiative!

County Conventions Happening Now

There are only two more county conventions this year. If you haven't made it to one yet, be sure to bring your energy to one of these last county conventions! Utah County's Convention is this Thursday evening at 7 pm. Come show your support of bipartisan values and help make a difference in your community!


The purpose of these conventions is to elect county officers, help party supporters get to know each other, and work together to build the party in the county.  We invite to our county conventions anyone interested in a new alternative to the dysfunctional Republicans and Democrats. 

Come join us in building a new political system built on moderation, common sense, and practicality.  You will find other like-minded people who want to end the partisan gridlock that dominates today's politics.


United Utah county conventions are open to the public. However, only those who are registered members of the party can vote on party business at the convention. For those not already UUP members, voter registration can be done in advance at or at the door.

Check your calendars.   


Date Place
Utah Th, 17 Oct 
@ 7:00 pm
Provo Library, Room 201, 550 N. University Ave, Provo
Salt Lake

Sa, 2 Nov 
@ 6:00 pm

Midvale Middle School, 7852 S. Pioneer Street, Midvale


A Personal Invite to the Utah County Convention

From Christine Heath, Interim Utah County Chair

Utah County Convention is right around the corner! 

This is a great opportunity to get involved with politics at the local level.  At the convention we will be electing County Officers and Legislative District Chairs.  Utah County will be getting a new County Chair since I will be stepping down to run for office in 2020, but before I go, there are some exciting things happening at convention. Three of our dedicated volunteers will receive the Golden Spark Award. The award is handmade, with love, because we love our volunteers.  


Studies have shown that coloring can reduce stress, and in these political times, who couldn’t use a little relaxation?  Anyone who donates a dollar or more will receive a United Utah Party Coloring page as a thank you. Swag will also be available with larger donations.

If you are a Precinct Chair, or would like to be a Precinct Chair, we have a new handbook to help you be extraordinary!  A few copies will be at convention, and you will receive a digital copy, provided we have the correct contact information. 


As many of you know, the United Utah Party is sponsoring a ballot initiative for term-limits.  There will be an opportunity to sign the initiative at the convention.

And most importantly, the convention will be a chance to connect with like minded people. Invite your friends, or just come and meet new ones. I look forward to seeing you this Thursday, October 17th!

The convention will be located at the Provo Library, Room 201, 550 N. University Ave, Provo.

Give Us a Recommendation!


Would you like to help the UUP in a simple way? We want to let people know who some of our members are. Would you be willing to include your name and hometown in a list of endorsements of the UUP? We would use this in a fundraising letter and on our website. If so, please just send your name and hometown to [email protected].

Thanks so much for your help.

Forward this newsletter to one like-minded soul today.  To find out how you can get involved in United Utah, click here.  

If you are reading this newsletter for the first time and would like to receive it directly and regularly, please click on the link below to subscribe.



The United Utah Party is dedicated to providing and supporting moderate alternatives to the political extremes.

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