Panel: Delegates wanted to leave Senator Orrin Hatch's fate up to voters

Published: Tuesday, April 24 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

"I think Mia Love left the convention without a primary because everyone agreed that it was more important to concentrate on the race with Jim Matheson than a costly primary," Moore said. "I even changed my vote from Carl to Mia. Mark Shurtleff's poor choice of words didn't help Carl's case either."

Though he lives in the 2nd District, Miller said the 4th District race was fun to watch, "especially after Mia Love delivered what was likely the best speech of the convention. Shurtleff's comment regarding her being a 'novelty' only made matters worse for her opponent," he said.

Acumen said last minute negative campaigning, including Shurtleff's "unfortunate slip of the tongue," backfired, and "clearly led to her being chosen as the Republican Party's nominee."

2nd Congressional District

Miller said while district delegates expected a primary, it didn't surprise him that author and pilot Chris Stewart ended up as the GOP nominee after the "negative propaganda" circulated about him by opponents backfired.

The controversy amounted to theatrics and once they played out, Miller said, Stewart emerged the winner. The candidates who withdrew amid the name-calling "all sounded like whiners. Nobody likes a whiner," Miller said.

Acumen called the events surrounding the 2nd District race "a sad scene" that could hurt Republicans come November.

"The biggest shock to me was the collapse of decorum," he said. "I never thought such a thing could be possible. It was a complete meltdown of the party in that district and frankly, I'd be willing to bet (Democratic Rep.) Jim Matheson is kicking himself right now for choosing to run in the Fourth instead of the Second right now. "

He compared Stewart to "the poor kid you used to watch getting picked on in the yard at school" and said the attacks "only turned off the delegates and made them more confident their inclinations to side with the apparent victim of the attacks."

Price said she was surprised by the 2nd District ruckus. "While the delegates did not know what was going on, I'm sure it influenced some of the delegates and they may have voted for the accused because the situation seemed so bizarre and prejudicial."

Governor's race

Price said Gov. Gary Herbert won't have a primary in part because one of his five opponents, tea party organizer David Kirkham, endorsed the governor after being eliminated in the first round of voting.

"I think when Mr. Kirkham switched sides, a lot of delegates felt like the governor would win anyway so why fight it," Price said.

She also said Herbert won support because he has modified some of his stands on issues key to delegates, by strengthening his "lackluster performance" in the battle for control of the state's public lands and agreeing to take another look at the Common Core federal education initiative.

"Hopefully, the pressure will help him see the light," Price said.

Moore, too, said she hopes the governor will use "his narrow escape at the convention" to address the concerns about Common Core as well as what she called increased spending "that has been masked by an influx of federal stimulus money."

Acumen said Herbert's chief challenger, former state lawmaker Morgan Philpot, came on too strong for delegates, attacking "a popular governor who by almost any measure imaginable is doing a terrific job with 30-foot banners reading, 'Failed Leadership.'"

Such negativity, Acumen said, did not resonate with most delegates. He said "the rookie mistake of focusing too much on the faults of the opposition rather than the virtues of the self clearly backfired and cost Philpot a shot at the primary."







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