Chair's Note—Why the United Utah Party?
We are in the midst of a primary season in Utah. The Republican race for governor is dominating the headlines, as well as the ad time. Other Republican races for lower level offices also are going on simultaneously. Thousands of Utahns are receiving emails, mailers, texts, and phone calls asking for their vote for a Republican candidate for this or that office. And thousands of signs are dotting the sides of roads or in yards to catch voters' attention.
The Republican primary will occur on June 30 and then the Republican nominees will be chosen. In most other states, that would be the beginning of a general election season that involves major party candidates reaching out to voters in multiple ways to get their vote. Voters would be deciding who to vote for in November.
But Utah is not like most other states. It is a one-party state. Once the Republican primary is over, the campaigning will be over. In most of the state, the signs will be put away. Candidates will not reach out to voters. There will be few mailers, texts, phone calls, etc. That's because, in most of the state, the Republican nominee will either run unopposed or will be opposed by a Democrat who either doesn't run or does run but isn't very well connected to that particular constituency.
The consequence of this one-party state is that all the attention exists at the Republican Primary. Yet, that is not when most people vote—or even can vote. Only Republicans can vote in the primary. A minority of Utah voters are Republicans. And even a majority of Republicans do not vote in the primary election. In 2016—the last presidential election year—only 38 percent of registered Republicans voted in the primary.
That means a minority of a minority is deciding who our elected officials will be. Of course, the reality is even worse. Most Republican nomination races are settled at the convention, where a few thousand delegates are deciding who will be a statewide or federal officeholder and a few hundred delegates determining county or legislative leaders.
By the time most voters get involved—at the general election in November—the races are over, campaigning is done, and the decisions have been made about who governs Utah. The majority of Utah voters—non-Republicans—are effectively excluded. Some may say that they should just register as Republicans. Unfortunately, that only exacerbates the problem. The solution is to create a real competitive electoral system where voters in the general election matter.
That is one reason the United Utah Party is here. Clearly, we represent where most voters in Utah lie—on the center, not the extremes, of the political spectrum. And we are the ones proposing practical solutions, not caught up in national ideologies, and offering to work with all sides.
But another reason is to bring back the voters to the task of deciding who their representatives are. We are offering competition in many places where there otherwise would be none.
How can you help bring back the general election as the place where representatives are chosen?
Vote for our candidates
When UUP candidates are first elected, then more will be elected. And then there will be actual competition across the state.
Tell your friends to vote for our candidates
Pass the word so our candidates can win and change Utah politics for the better.
Donate to the United Utah Party
Help support the party's efforts to end the one-party state and restore the people's role in choosing representatives. Go to unitedutah.org/donate.
These candidates need help in many ways—people who will go door to door with them, distribute literature, put up signs, hold house parties (some virtual), and so on. To volunteer, go to unitedutah.org/volunteer.
Utahns deserve to be the deciders of who represents them. That can happen with your help. It can happen if we create a viable party that restores the kind of competition Utah needs and has been lost for several decades now.
Together, let's make Utah even better.
–Richard Davis, Chair