Utah Republican Party leaders are concerned that some traditional Republicans may not be voting for all party candidates this year, and they're asking conservative Utahns not to desert them.

"Vote Republican," is the message they bring.GOP State Chairman Craig Moody and past chairmen Bill Stevenson and Larry Lunt said Friday that their party has had some difficult challenges, both locally and nationally, over the past several years. But overall, they said, Republican officeholders made the right decisions.

Although it wasn't mentioned, what Moody and the others were referring to is the record $165-million tax increase imposed by GOP Gov. Norm Bangerter and the Republican-dominated Legislature.

Polls show Bangerter is having trouble holding onto the Republican vote, and GOP leaders fear that problem may slop over into legislative races as well.

Moody also bemoaned the negative campaigning this season, laying most, but not all, of the blame on Democrats. He said he strongly supports Democratic State Chairman Randy Horiuchi's suggestion that a non-partisan campaign commission be set up to review and judge campaign advertising.

"I'd love to submit some of the Democrats' ads to it (the proposed commission). And I think it might stop some of this negative advertising," Moody said.