Is the Utah County Republican Party having financial problems?

The short answer is no, but we wouldn't know that from a disclosure the party posted to the state elections office Web site.

The document showed the party in the hole by $31,800.

That would be a groundbreaking surprise, considering the party dominates Utah County. Republicans hold all 15 seats in the state Legislature that represent districts based solely in Utah County.

(Four other legislators count portions of Utah County in their districts. Three of those four are Republicans.)

This also would be a bad time for county Republicans to be struggling with the purse because 13 of the 15 seats are up for election this year, and county Democrats are mounting the most credible challenge in years.

The Democrats will announce an eighth legislative candidate on Tuesday, and it will be another Mormon with a socially conservative agenda and ties to Brigham Young University, a formula local Democrats hope can break the GOP hegemony here.

But county Republicans aren't in the red, party chairwoman Marian Monnahan told me Friday. She said the statement the party posted to the state Web site was mistaken and that it had nearly $50,000 on hand in January.

The site also lists the Utah County Democrats as being in the red, with a negative $2,042. That, too, is wrong, party treasurer Kristen Gerdy said.

County Democrats had $500 in May when new leadership took control of the local party. Gerdy said they had about $13,000 on hand as of Dec. 31

While eight Democrats are lined up to run against Utah County legislators, and party leadership is promising more, no Republicans have announced they will challenge anyone in their own party.

The filing period is March 7-17. One seat to watch closely is House District 62. That's where Chris Herrod was appointed to replace Jeff Alexander last year.

Herrod actually lost by a single vote to John Curtis in a poll of district party delegates, but then was appointed anyway by Enid Greene, who was the state party chairwoman at the time.

Several people predicted and even promised Rep. Herrod would be challenged this year, and there are rumblings to that effect within the district

America loves a winner, but we've also always had a soft spot for lovable losers.

Today, America's biggest losers will be in Orem with a strong chance to set a new record for futility in Division I NCAA men's basketball.

The record for most losses in a winless season is 28. If the New Jersey Institute of Technology loses today in a game against Utah Valley State College that begins at 3 p.m., it would end the season with no wins and 29 losses.

This is NJIT's second season in Division I, which includes 341 schools from No. 1 Memphis to BYU and UVSC.

Unsurprisingly, NJIT is ranked 341st in the RPI ratings.

Tad Walch lives with his wife and five children in Provo, their home for the past 21 years. Please e-mail: [email protected]