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  Utah GOP hardliners proposing radical changes to party rules
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ContributorKyle 
Last EditedKyle  May 01, 2018 06:44pm
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CategoryRule Change
AuthorBob Bernick
News DateWednesday, May 2, 2018 12:40:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWell, it never seems to end.

When the 180-member Central Committee of the Utah Republican Party meets later this month – in its regular quarterly meeting – bylaw changes will be presented that would open the door to GOP bosses kicking out of the party any candidate who takes the signature-gathering route to the party primary.

Other changes would allow the state party to oppose a signature-gathering candidate who either did not also go to the party convention for a delegate vote or went to the convention but was eliminated by the delegates.

And if the GOP-controlled Utah Legislature later passed a law to allow it, that bylaw change would also have convention-approved candidates listed first on the ballot with the label “Party Endorsed” next to their name.

If approved by the state Central Committee May 19, the changes do not appear to apply to the two major intraparty races this year – the U.S. Senate and 3rd Congressional District primary contests.

However, in the future, if a primary occurred like last year’s 3rd District special election, the ultimate winner there – now-U.S. Rep. John Curtis – could have “actively” been opposed by his own Utah Republican Party.

And last year’s 3rd District primary candidate Tanner Ainge could have been kicked out of the party – for he only took the signature gathering route.

Phill Wright, a former GOP vice chairman who is leading the Gang of 51 – the hardcore state Central Committee members who are battling beleaguered party chairman Rob Anderson – is sponsoring several of the bylaw changes.

Wright is also running for a state House seat this year, challenging Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful.

A list of the suggested bylaw changes to be heard May 19 by the Central Committee can be found here.

Wright et al. have had their way in two “special” CC meetings over recent months because not all of the 180-member Central Committee members showed up.

Anderson told UtahPolicy he hopes
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