Thoughts on outcome of 2018 Utah State Republican Convention

I actually think that the caucus and convention system worked pretty good. The process for nominating a candidate for U.S. Senate selected the 2 best candidates and put them on a primary ballot for all Republicans to choose between.

The goal of Count My Vote and even SB54 was to create more primary elections so that more rank and file Republicans can participate in the process. By allowing signature gathering, candidates that anticipate that they may not do well among those that participate in the caucus and convention system don't have to even deal with that process. They have a completely independent system and can focus solely on the primary election.

Mitt Romney chose a new 3rd process of going through both the caucus and convention as well as gathering signatures. He called it the "belt and suspender" system so that he could ensure that ALL Republicans could participate in deciding if he was they party nominee.

In our caucus meeting the people that were elected as both State and County Delegates all stated that they are going to do their due diligence and determine who was the best candidate for each office. No one said, vote for me and I will vote to nominate Candidate X, Y, or Z.

I appreciate how the state and county delegates from my precinct did the job they were elected to do. We all went to the various meet the candidates and debates sometimes as a carpooling group and then shared wha learned while travelling together. No one was coerced into voting for or against any specific candidate. If anything, the delegates knew that they were accountable to the Republicans in their precinct that they were elected to represent.

I know and like Mitt and admit that he is the odds on favorite to be the Republican nominee. However, he is not a perfect candidate. I also know and like Mike Kennedy, who seems to have strengths in places that Mitt has weaknesses. And in Mike's weaknesses, Mitt appears to be strong.

In these two candidates, the Republican primary voters have a choice between 2 viable candidates. They are both candidates. The non-viable candidates were removed from the primary ballot by the vetting process.

Neither Romney nor Kenney were able to trick or deceive the delegates the way that Greg Graves and his supporters did 4 years ago. In fact, I am pleased with the steps the Republican party is taking to ensure we don't have failures like we did when Greg Graves games the system.

I believe that the caucus and convention system can work to select the best candidates, if it is allowed to work.

I use the comparison to a jury trial. Jury trials can work if they are allowed to. But they can also fail as we can see in the O.J. Jury and in the "To Kill a Mockingbird" movie. But just because juries can be gamed, stacked, or cheated doesn't mean we should get rid of it. We should work to ensure it works as designed.

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