OREM Former Utah House District 60 Republican candidate Linda Houskeeper brought a list of things she feels need to change within the Utah County Republican Party to a meeting with Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert Thursday and said she feels her voice was heard.
Houskeeper says that Herbert respected her complaints and even agreed with some of her suggestions.
"He agreed that there was definitely some room for improvement, and he offered to work with me to help solve some problems," Houskeeper said.
She says that Herbert wanted to help her but that he also thought her suing the party would not be a good idea because it would be divisive and make accomplishing change more difficult.
Herbert confirmed the meeting with Houskeeper and said while he has no real power over the Republican Party, he wanted to be a sounding board for the complaints.
"This is not just a Republican problem, it is a challenge for all parties that are working at the grass-roots level," said Herbert. "That being said, we all have room to improve and so I support that effort."
Houskeeper's list of complaints varies from how the conventions are organized to claim that many officials are doing double duty on committees and other functions within the party. She also stressed the need for the party to be neutral until after results of a primary are announced.
Housekeeper's threatened lawsuit was over two delegates who were not seated in the convention last month because the deadline for seating replacement delegates had passed. While she says she does not know whether they will vote for her, she wants Herbert to help her get those votes cast and then she would agree to drop the lawsuit.
"Allow the two delegates that were not properly seated to be allowed to vote," Houskeeper said. "Maybe they will vote for my opponent or maybe they will vote for me, but I will abide by the votes that they cast."
Houskeeper just missed forcing a primary against Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, by one vote at the convention.
Herbert confirmed that he will be speaking with Utah County Republican Chairwoman Marian Monnahan to find out more about the issue. But he says that he does not plan to advocate one side or another. He just wants to bring some clarity to the issues by making sure there is transparency in the process.
Daw, who has sat back and watched the process after winning the nomination at the convention, also believes that if people have complaints they should be looked into but said he thinks that there is a time and place for everything.
"I really think Linda is picking the wrong forum," said Daw. "She has been active in the party for years, and if she has a problem with the party then she has had a lot of opportunity to rectify the problems she has seen."
Daw says that he knows other delegates who were not in attendance at the convention who most likely would have voted for him, but the rules are the rules."Once you have the votes cast, there has to be a finality there," he said. "You cannot go back and re-vote it. The best thing they can do is tighten up procedures and ensure that nothing happens in the future, and that is assuming that there was a procedural error there in the first place."
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