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Kane County Republican Party Executive Committee respond to bylaw questions

With the progress of the 2024 election, members of the public, and specifically the Republican party in Kane County have brought the election and caucus processes under scrutiny. Many recent public submissions to the Southern Utah News have offered opinions on the subject, and as such, Republican Party leadership in the area have responded with some perspective on the matter and provided party documentation for analysis.

The caucus system is under assessment at the state level, with certain political pundits and inside sources reporting additional scrutiny and the potential for change being put forth.

Boyd Corry, Chair of the Kane County Republican Party Executive Committee (KCRPEC), stated of the caucus system in particular, “There’s a few simple benefits that make the caucus system worth keeping in my mind: not everyone has the time to follow all the candidates of a campaign, and not everyone has the money to participate in an election, and a caucus helps address both of those problems.”

Corry states his belief that the caucuses are more effective at vetting candidates, saying, “Doing the caucus system, a lot of shysters don’t get through, and sometimes the best candidate doesn’t get through, but normally the system vets the candidates and believe me they vet the candidates … and the best candidate is the one who makes it through to the caucus.” He goes on to refer to the process of signatures being gathered by hiring contracted collection agencies, criticizing this as the only realistic way for signatures to be gathered in many counties, “I don’t think only the people who have money to hire an agency should be allowed to participate in the process.”

Critics of the caucus system have leveled concerns that it takes voting power away from the individual, specifically in contrast to registering as a candidate via signatures, a means introduced by a compromise with Senate Bill 54 and the Count My Vote Initiative in 2014. Additionally, concern has been shared recently regarding a letter posted in the Opinions section of the Southern Utah News in which the Kane County Republican Party Executive Committee reaffirms its endorsement of the caucus system, and lists the candidates formally selected as the Republican Party candidates for respective positions and urges readers to vote for these selected candidates - such a letter, critics say, violates the Party Bylaws as cited in Article IV Section C, “Neither the County Party nor its Executive Officers shall publicly support, endorse, or assist one Republican candidate over another prior to a primary election in any national, state or local race.”

When asked for a response to this criticism, Corry replied, “According to our bylaws, we’re not supposed to support any given Republican candidate until after the primary … if you get on the ballot by a method outside of that in the party’s constitution or bylaws, are you then protected by the same constitution and bylaws you ignored to get on the ballot?” Corry’s response essentially calls for consideration of the term “Republican candidate,” and questions whether it is specifically the candidate formally chosen by the Republican party or an eligible candidate on the ballot by S.B. 54 signatures who is a member of the Republican party.

KCRPEC has repeated their endorsements of the candidates selected by caucuses both on the state and local level, as well as the language referring to the signature gathering process as a “legislative loophole” via “unvetted signatures,” which has caused some pushback from some who perceive this as invalidating language directed toward current candidates running via S.B. 54.

The upcoming legislative sessions will determine actions on S.B. 54 at a state level; locally, Corry concedes “I agree that some plurality on the ballot is probably a good thing - I think it helps voters to have some options for who they can vote for, but I wouldn’t feel qualified to make that decision on my own. Don’t we owe it to our system and our delegates to support the candidates that were selected by the system put in place by the constitutions and bylaws of the party? I don’t think it’s against our bylaws or constitution to support the candidate selected as the Republican candidate by those same bylaws and constitution.” As such, Corry has stated an interest in consulting experts and those with more experience to consider a means of including more than one candidate in caucus results.




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