A Utah House GOP candidate says he was encouraged by a county party officeholder to get out of his race but declined to do so.That's right, the Deseret News is writing about a comment posted to one of its stories on its website. What a brave new world indeed. They didn't even need think up the contextual link either because, by Alexander's commenting on stories about Utah County Republican Party shenanigans, he gave them the context.
Rob Alexander is one of two Republicans who filed against Democratic incumbent Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray. Rick Taylor also filed for the House District 35 seat.
In a comment post to a Deseret News article on Monday, Alexander says that after he filed at the request of Salt Lake County Chairman James Evans, he got a telephone call from Carrie Towner, a Senate District chairwoman. Even though Towner was from a different Senate district than is Alexander, she asked him to get out of the race, since Taylor, a candidate she supports and asked to run, was already in the race, Alexander said.
Now Carrie was a classmate of mine at law school, and I like both her and her husband. Bob Bernick that "intrepid reporter," must have called her up for her reaction to Alexander's comment. Or maybe he just waited for Carrie to reply to the comment thread. And people like me call journalist's lazy...he had to pick up the phone and call people, THEN type. Oh the horrors.
But Towner says Alexander misinterpreted her telephone call. While she did recruit Taylor, she said she called both candidates after the filing deadline to suggest that they get together and decide if one or the other "really didn't want to run" — and thus a party convention, and perhaps a primary, could be avoided.Note to the Towners, don't let Evans come to your defense. The "they didn't break the rules!" line really makes you look worse. Tell him you will handle this one. The man can't help but sink candidates (did Sheriff Winder ever send you a bouquet?). Anyway, if either Towner wishes to comment further on the episode or the article, feel free to do it here. You don't want to put it in the D-News' comment board, they will surely need to fill in more space and write an article on that next.
"I didn't pressure (Alexander) to get out any more than I did (Taylor)," she said.
But Alexander said he found Towner's call odd — especially since she was not from his Senate district. "She was passing herself off as my district chair, a person who supposedly had some kind of authority over me. She is not from my district. She made it clear that (Taylor) was not going to get out (of the race) and asked if I wanted to. It was all kind of fishy. Both she and (Taylor) were at the same meeting where James [Evans SL County GOP chair] announced that I would run for this seat and they didn't say anything," Alexander said in an interview.
While it is against party rules for a party officer to take sides in an intra-party challenge, Evans said that rule only applies to the current chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary of individual county parties and the state party, not to other party officeholders, like a Senate district chair, as is Towner.
"So no rule was violated" by the telephone call, said Evans.
This line by Evans is slightly better:
"Carrie was on a candidate recruitment committee the last two years, since the 2006 elections. And so she and others have been looking for candidates" countywide. When the 2006 GOP candidate, who was expected to run again, decided not to run at the last minute, Evans said he and other county GOP activists started beating the bushes — and no doubt that is when Towner found Taylor and asked him to run.He has a (sort of) good point, Utah Dems rarely have primaries. But the real question is why, and if you know that, then you know that this is an apples-to-oranges comparison.
"We don't do what the Democrats do all the time. They pick one person and run them" with few intra-party fights, said Evans. Republicans have multiple candidates in many races, said Evans. "And we only said: 'If this is something you really don't want to do, and if we have a good candidate in the race already, then feel free"' to get out, said Evans.
First off, there aren't that many places were there are enough Dems to have primaries I can name the neighborhoods off the top of my head and I am sure you can think of the same. Heck, there are some races were Democrats struggle to find candidates even to run. The GOP in Utah rarely has that problem. Second, when you are in the minority to the extent that Democrats in Utah are, you get vary pragmatic, and tend to coalesse around the most "electable" candidate. While there are Dems and liberals I know in Utah that are dissatisfied with moderates like Jim Matheson, you don't see any of them wasting their time and money trying to primary him.
And speaking of Jim, he can thank his lucky stars he didn't have run against Carrie in 2002, when he got only 1600 votes more than the detestable John Swallow. Did the same convention goers that nixed Gov. Walker's bid do in Carrie?