Utah County Republicans will hold their nominating convention Saturday in Mountain View High School with a platform committee meeting at 7 a.m. and the general session opening at 9 a.m.
The convention is open to all Republicans and to the public, but only elected delegates will be allowed to address the convention and vote.Gov. Norman H. Bangerter is expected to attend the convention and has scheduled an 8 a.m. breakfast with local party leaders and delegates.
In a convention-related item, county GOP officials objected this week to a Deseret News news analysis that reported only one newspaper, of three that had been invited, sent a reporter to a pre-convention press conference last week at which local GOP candidates were introduced.
Local Republican officers said the analysis embarrassed them by implying no one had attended the press conference when, according to party officers, 85 percent of those invited to the press conference actually attended.
Convention delegates will have an opportunity to choose candidates in six Utah Senate and House races in which more than one Republican has filed.
If any of those hopefuls captures the votes of 70 percent of the delegates representing the district of candidacy, he or she will be the party's nominee. If no candidate captures 70 percent of eligible delegates' votes at the convention, the GOP candidate will be picked in the Sept. 13 state primary.
Races to be contested at the convention include: Senate District 14, where R.L. "Bob" Wright and Rep. Craig Peterson, R-Orem, will seek the seat vacated by retiring Sen. Paul Rogers, R-Orem; House District 58, where incumbent Rep. Donald R. LeBaron, R-Highland, is being challenged by Alpine attorney Gregory B. Hadley and Marguerite A. McGowan.
Other contested House races are: District 59, where the seat being vacated by Peterson is being sought by Orem attorney Bryce McEuen and John L. Valentine; District 63, where Cal Monson and Janette C. Hales are vying for the seat being given up by retiring Rep. Craig Call, R-Provo.
Also being contested are House District 65, where Michael N. Stansfield and Don R. Strong are battling for the right to face incumbent Glenn V. Bird, D-Springville; and District 67, where O. Dean Pendleton and Bill Wright are vying for a chance to unseat Rep. Drew Daniels, D-Salem.
Republican candidates who withdrew after filing to run for election were: James P. Rupper, House District 59; Harold Hawkins, House District 61; Max A. Eggertsen, House District 62; incumbent commissioner Gary Anderson and Rex Behling, both for the two-year County Commission seat.
The withdrawals left incumbents representatives Lee Ellertson, R-Orem, and Jeril Wilson, R-Provo, without Republican opposition. Also unopposed in the Republican Party is Provo attorney Sid Sandberg, who is running for the two-year commission seat.