GOP selects Huntsman, Karras
Cannon is forced into primary battle in the 3rd District
The rematch between Swallow and Bridgewater was not unexpected. The delegates want desperately to beat Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, who beat Swallow by less than 1 percentage point, less than 2,000 votes, two years ago.
Bridgewater criticized Swallow for that loss in his speech; as Swallow defended it. More than 42,000 people who voted for Bush in 2000 deserted the Republican Party two years later and voted for Matheson, said Bridgewater. "I will bring them home," he said.
Swallow said he is smarter politically, stronger financially and better prepared now than in 2002. Matheson won't escape him again. When a hay wagon is stuck in the mud, "you get it out one bale at a time that's what I'm doing in this campaign."
When you lose a close fight, "do you give up? Or do you come back and finish the job," Swallow said, comparing himself in his pre-speech video to Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.
After hearing the vote results, Swallow said he has $300,000 in cash and will spend what he has to in the six-week primary. "With my strong funding base, I can go back to them in the primary, again in the final against Matheson," Swallow said. He added that a recent poll had him 51-11 percent over Bridgewater among Republicans. "We're in good shape."
Bridgewater said he'll win this primary. "I'll convince the Republican voters to give me the same support as the delegates did."Bridgewater bested Swallow in the convention 54-46 percent.
Cannon said he was disappointed to face another primary his second in four re-elections. "A lot of money has come into this race from out of state all over the misinterpreted phrase 'amnesty,' " Cannon said after it was announced that he fell just short of 60 percent and would face Throckmorton, who campaigned against Cannon's stands on immigration.
Now more will come in the primary, he added. "We'll raise the money we need to get our message out."
But this primary will be tougher than the one he faced in 1998, when an unknown and under-funded Republican running from Cannon's right forced the incumbent into a primary.
"My opponent then had no money. (Throckmorton) will see a lot of money and (benefit) from the distortion" of Cannon's stands on immigration policy, Cannon said. "That was the only issue (Throckmorton) and these outside groups that support him talked about."
Throckmorton said his primary election budget is $350,000, of which only $150,000 will be cash. The rest will be in-kind donations from individuals and organizations, he said.
"I don't have a lot of money to throw around," he said. "It's been an uphill battle to get this far."Throckmorton said he will focus on immigration reform and opposition to No Child Left Behind the same two issues he used to get into the primary. But he will also add the outsourcing of American jobs and the growing federal debt to the debate.
Finally, while candidate after candidate slapped Bush's No Child Left Behind federal education program, the delegates themselves never got a chance to vote against it.
Two resolutions criticized the federally mandated program. But after several long, troublesome convention votes, delegates were clearly fed up with the platform, party constitution and resolution discussions. And they voted to put off most of the items until the 2005 Republican convention.
They also killed a proposed party constitutional change that would have allowed future delegates to call back the two finalists and have one last head-to-head vote to see if one could get 60 percent of the vote and avoid a primary.
Delegates didn't even debate a proposed constitutional change that would have opened the now closed GOP primaries to unaffiliated voters those that belong to no political party.
Two final notes:
Huntsman gets the best endorsement award. Former President George H.W. Bush, in Huntsman's pre-speech video, asked Utah delegates to vote for his former ambassador to Singapore. Huntsman can be trusted, Bush said. Huntsman aides said the ex-president was approached by Jon Huntsman Sr. late last year at a Texas chemical convention, where the elder Bush was the main speaker, and asked to endorse Huntsman's son. Bush agreed. And Enid Greene, Karras' running mate, got the biggest laugh. Driven from the 2nd Congressional seat in 1996 after her ex-husband, Joe Waldholtz, brought political and personal scandal to the then-D.C. power couple, Greene told the convention: "I chose the wrong man once. I'm not about to do it again."
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