Thursday, May 03, 2007

UPD: Utah GOP in Disarray

Does anyone want to be state GOP chair? Maybe not, and for good reason. The Utah Republican Party is in a general state of disrepair, deeply in debt, without an executive director, and with angry activists making trouble wherever they can.

Who wants to step into that mess? With the party organizing convention coming up on June 9, there is no consensus candidate for chair, and plenty of good people are declining to run. Interim Chair Enid Greene’s very public firing of Executive Director Jeff Hartley is just the latest symptom of trouble in the GOP. The current party debt may run above $350,000.

By contrast, the Utah Democratic Party, run by Chair Wayne Holland, has little or no debt, is more disciplined, and appears better organized with an excellent communications program and web site.

None of this means that Republican candidates are necessarily in trouble. Most candidates and officeholders, especially statewide officials, simply ignore the party and do what they need to win. Sometimes working with the party is more trouble than it’s worth. Dealing with angry GOP activists is especially frustrating. They care more about ideological purity and lost causes than they do about winning elections.

Among names being mentioned for GOP state chair are Todd Weiler, Derek Smith, Stan Lockhart, Dave Hansen, James Evans, Dave Simmons, Tim Bridgewater and Marty Stephens. Bridgewater, who is helping coordinate regional activities for presidential candidate John McCain, is said to be willing to consider the job.


Anonymous said...

Its about freakin time.

Gus said...

The proof is in the pudding.