Utah Primaries – Time to go RINO Hunting

Utah’s Republican primaries are coming up fast.

For those of you who don’t know Utah politics, here’s a quick primer. Outside of a few blue big city enclaves that elect democrats, the real action in Utah politics is in the party conventions/primaries. Since our liberals/progressives can’t win as the democrats they are they usually run as republicans.

Utah has a primary system where local caucuses choose delegates to represent our neighborhoods, then they vote at a convention to select the candidates. Primaries were just for run offs when a candidate didn’t get a high enough percentage of delegates. But since delegates tended to be politically astute and well informed (not easily bamboozled) that didn’t work well for RINOs. So they managed to push through a ridiculous alternate system where you can also go on the primary ballot if you get enough signatures.

So the actual conservative usually wins at the convention, but then the RINO (who inevitably has big corporate/union backing) just pays professional signature gatherers to buy their way onto the primary ballot. Then they just spend that sweet teacher’s union money on ads to the primary voters saying how conservative they are, until they get elected and vote for the same old lefty crap. Or alternatively, concentrate on getting sweet business deals for their family and friends. Either way, the people of Utah lose.

So if you non-Utahns ever wonder why Utah is the natural habitat of the Great White RINO, now you know. If you go on safari here you can watch Mitt Romney or Spencer Cox (He/Him) graze majestically upon our tax dollars.

However, we can still beat these RINOs in the actual primaries. That just requires educating the populace. The following is all MY OPINION (because some of these RINOs are vindictive and litigious!). Check out the ones in your area for yourself.

Mike Lee – Senate  This is the obvious one. Becky Edwards and Ally Isom are both democrats. Ally is better than Becky who was left leaning in the legislature for years. She got booed at the convention, but this is classic Utah politics where our democrats know they can’t win as democrats so they run as republicans. Isom even switched to being a democrat while Trump was president.

Back when I was still a corporate accountant I ended up working with Mike Lee’s office on a few issues. The guy is legit. I agree with Mike Lee most of the time, which is pretty remarkable for any elected official.

Andrew Badger – US Congress North Utah This is a big one. My incumbent congressman is Blake Moore, who is basically a bowl of lukewarm oatmeal. The only things Moore is known for in congress involves allegations of insider trading and his dad getting lucrative contracts at Hill AFB. Oh, and he voted for the January 6 committee. Yay. Seriously, nobody here can name a thing this guy has done for us.

This is another one where the Utah’s traditional delegate system gets thwarted, and the corporate candidate gets signatures. Badger won at the convention and should be the Republican nominee.  Everything I’ve heard about Badger from people I trust is that he’s solid.

Chris Herod – US Congress Utah County Not my area, but everything I’ve heard about John Curtis is meh.

Ron Mortenson – House 20 Woods Cross Another one where the actual conservative beat the RINO at the convention, but the RINO gathers signatures and then uses their fat stack of cash in the primary (her maiden name is Garff, so Utahns know how much money that’s worth). Ballard is typical establishment, left leaning. Mortenson seems actually conservative but doesn’t have her money.

Alena Erickson – House 18 Centerville Everything I’ve heard about Erickson, she’s conservative. Her opponent (Cutler) was the mayor of Centerville and has got endorsements from all the RINOs in the legislature. There’s no incumbent here, but it was held by Hawkes, who gave Cutler money.

Lyle Mason – 19 Bountiful All my political animal friends say Mason is legit. He’s up against the pro abortion, pro-tax, pro-mask mandate Ray Ward (who only votes with the republicans 19% of the time). When I ask how the heck does this guy win, it’s because he’s a “family doctor” (Utah always gets suckered by “nice”) But Mason’s a doctor too, only he’s not going to order your kids to wear masks.

Doug Durbano – Senate 5 Ogden He’s up against Ann Milner, who I warned you all about when she got elected the first time. She’s against the senate bill to end this signature gathering mess that’s screwed up all the races above. She’s turned out to be about as mushy left leaning as I predicted. This is one of the few times where I disagree with Mike Lee, but he endorsed her because they worked with her over a decade ago. No, sorry, Mike, we can do better.

Tyson Plastow – Davis Auditor Plastow is an actual auditor by trade. Koch has been in for 13 years and thinks mail in ballots are great and there’s no possibility of fraud. This one is a no brainer.

Luke Brooks – Davis Commission he’s up against Stevenson, who wants Davis county to have a mayor like SLC. Beware politicians who want to concentrate more power in fewer hands. I’m hazy on the details but I’ve been told that Stevenson’s also the guy who screwed up the big pharma lawsuit settlement that got Davis a fraction of what other counties received.

Betty Young – Senate 6 Syracuse She’s a conservative who is up against the guy who owns J&J Garden Center. I hear he’s a nice guy, but he’s been there forever, votes absent all the time, and probably should retire.

Kimberly Cozzens – House 8 Ogden everything I’m hearing is she’s a staunch conservative and it’s a vacant seat.

The following are people I’ve heard good things about but lack first-hand knowledge. Hey, unlike most punditry, I’m at least honest!

Melanie Mortensen – State school board

Katy Hall – House 11 South Ogden

Bill Olsen – Weber Commission seat A

Shanna Francis – Weber Commission seat B

Jen Savage, Jenny Stoker, Wendy Likert, Derek Lamb – Davis School Board

edited to add:

WriterDojo S2 Ep24: the Rhythm of Writing
Larry's Twitter posts on the Jan 6 commission

49 thoughts on “Utah Primaries – Time to go RINO Hunting”

  1. Most of the picks seem easy for you. Here in Florida I’ve got an open primary in a newly Republican district (via redistricting) with a dozen candidates. Sent them all letters last week asking if they’d pledge to introduce NFA repeal legislation. So far got nothing back.

    1. Update: Went to calling numbers (protip: Look for a candidate’s campaign documents. In Florida these are easily found on the Florida Department of State Division of Elections’s candidate tracker) This will gets their actual phone number)
      Anthony Sabatti immediately said yes and the only reason he wouldn’t is if someone else beat him to it (then he’d co-sponser). Apparently some National Association of Gun Rights asks in their questionnaire.
      Cory Mills went very weasel and got annoyed when called on it.
      Rusty Roberts was the only one to reply to the letter, said he’d look into it but thinks taxes beyond general sales tax are generally unconstitutional.

  2. Thank you for this, Larry – moved to Utah a couple of years and find myself struggling to understand the RINOs, given the generally conservative nature of the people down here. I appreciate the background info on all this

    1. Indeed — but they were butthurt because Senator Bennett was lukewarm at best, and couldn’t make the case to the Utah people that he really was conservative — which is why Mike Lee was able to replace him (and why the Butthurt Society doesn’t like Mike Lee, either).

      I was hoping we’d Primary Orrin Hatch two years later, but Hatch was more politically savvy than Bennett (which is a major factor in all this — the Butthurt Society are sore losers, probably in no small part because losing hurts their graft).

  3. Wow.

    If it’s that bad in Utah no wonder why we can’t get rid of Rino’s like lindsey, The Alaskan Witch, The Maine Witch, McTurtle and others.

    I guess Shakespeare was right about what to do with lawyers. ( just kidding FBI, Fisa Court and NSA)

    1. People like McConnell are damn near impossible to primary out which is why when people say we just need to keep working with the GOP I roll my eyes.

      We can’t get a viable 3rd party in the current system but we really need one. Libertarians are a joke.

      In the meantime the savvy politicians know how to use the primary system to their benefit. Usually it’s an absolute Charlie Foxtrot of candidates where the incumbent can just use name recognition to win but I’m told McConnell has his own dirty tricks to make sure he can’t be unseated.

      We’re stuck with a deeply criminal, corrupt, and inept Democrat party that has no real opposition because the GOP is busy fending off any challenges from their right flank.

      1. You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.
        Yes, as someone who was involved very heavily in my (very blue) former state, it is not fun, especially if you are not in it for some personal political or career aspirations. But I did it for over a decade because I thought it needed to be done.
        It’s your freedom or your kids and grands future freedom at stake. Your choice.
        I have no kids so all we need to do is find somewhere reasonably comfortable and defensible where we can run out the clock. Call it ‘prepper-lite’.

      2. If not for McConnell, Merrick Garland would be on the Supreme Court.

        I understand calling him “Mitch McClellan,” but the idea that he’s actually a RINO rather than someone who understands that politics is the art of the possible is laughable.

        1. And yet somehow the only issue on which he has accomplished the “possible”, even when Republicans held both Houses and the Presidency for two years was judges. His one accomplishment. No immigration reform, no border security, no pipeline, no fiscal discipline. At what point do we acknowledge that he isn’t all that and a bag of chips.

          1. You remind me of the progs carping about how they haven’t gotten everything they wanted despite the Democrats holding both Houses and the presidency. The system doesn’t work that way.

        2. Hogwash. Amid his numerous “accomplishments” other than “muh judges” (and that one soesn’t seem to be working out very well now, does it?) is his latest “bipartisan” gun control compromise.

          I’m surprised to see we still have Mitch apologists in this day and age.

          1. Define “not working out so well.”

            Because I have the distinct notion that what translates to is that the judges are judging rather than legislating.

          2. You should probably save your distinct notions for after you hear the explanation that shouldn’t need explaining. There’s a word for that.

        3. Oh shut the eff up with this crap. Your excuses for the most left-wing Republican leader in history are pathetic. At least come up with better lies next time. Maybe ask someone smarter to come up with your talking points next time? So you don’t seem so dumb.

          1. I’m trying to decide if you are historically ignorant or a liar projecting your issues onto me.

            I’m going to be charitable, assume the former, and tell you to look up the term “Rockefeller Republican.”

    2. Don’t dis Susan Collins

      Your choices are her (who put Kavanaugh over the top by refusing to give in to the witch hunt), or a Party line Democrat who always votes with Biden.

      The other ones? Yes, they suck, nuke them, they are far to the Left of where they could be,

      But Collins is the best we can get with that seat

  4. FWIW, here in TX we have Dan Crenshaw who likes to claim to be conservative and then hides being his absolute moral superiority shield of being a wounded SEAL Space Ranger Quantum Commando. Once upon a time I had some respect for service members in politics but lately they seem to hide their bad behavior behind their service record. Crenshaw may have been a great SEAL, or not, but he’s a lousy TX representative.

    Don’t even get me started on John Cornyn who absolutely abuses the primary system to make sure he can’t be unseated. The Dems in TX are determined to run on gun control, abortion, and probably want to substitute all BBQ with Beyond Beef products so he knows he’s not going to lose the general election. John Cornyn was one of the GOP who voted for the new gun control measures that will take away more freedoms but do nothing to actually stop “gun violence”

    Just shocking how many RINOS someplace like TX can generate but at least WY has to answer for Liz Cheney.

    1. yes, Crenshaw has been a deep disappointment. He did a co-event with Congressman David Trone of MD – the swampiest of the left.
      As all the posts here hopefully demonstrate, ‘just voting’ is NOT enough. I can’t urge everyone enough to sign up to be election judges AND / or to get involved in your county’s GOP organization!
      Just remember, if YOU’RE not running your local GOP, RINOs will be.

    2. Cornyn hasn’t voted for any gun control simply because there isn’t anything to vote on. What was agreed to was a framework for negotiations with no legislative language. What he has done is taken gun control off the table for the next several weeks. Anyone who brings up gun control to a Republican legislator will be met with “I’m waiting to see what the group working on that produce.”

      And if any one Republican in that group objects to the final language the whole thing is DOA. The Republicans have all the power in these negotiations.

  5. Is there anyway you all can get rid of Mitt? I’m working on getting rid of Cornyn in Texas. As you know both RINOs are negotiating our rights away. They are just polished turds…

    1. I’ve never met the man and have no personal dealings with him. Good friend of mine (very politically astute and somebody I trust) has worked with him and likes him a lot.

      1. Burgess is okay, stands on legitimate principles. I campaigned for one of his primary opponents two years ago so I’m a little bitter but it could be a lot worse.

    1. in answer to your question, the report is accurate insofar is henderson blocked access to records. the dispute is over WHY. did she block access because she doesn’t want anyone looking into the election? or did she block access because the people requesting it didn’t comply with the law in their request? I know which one I think is correct, but you can decide for yourself.

      hint, if henderson just wanted these people to comply with the law, she could work with them to show them how to make a proper request and what records they are allowed to look at to investigate election integrity. she didn’t do that. so from what I can see she just doesn’t want anyone looking at election integrity PERIOD. I wonder why.

  6. fun facts on a couple of these for me.
    Curtis is coat tail family for my late wife. I.e. we’ve been to a couple family functions together. Nice enough guy in person but that is the issue he wants to be liked. I blame his upbringing he had it too easy.

    Ward was my doctor. He wasn’t very good at that and missed a lot of things. He is about control but hate it when it him getting hit by it. I figured he went into politics to get a fix on both sides.

    Thanks for the write up Larry RINOs should be extinct.

  7. I realize you arent from cd3 but john curtis is REALLY bad. He is definitely not ‘meh’.
    curtis is the former democrat party chairman from utah county. he is pro lgbt (but hides it well). he is anti 2nd amendment (but lies REALLY well about it). he is pro amnesty and also pro jan 6th witch hunt. He is also pro global warming agenda.

    an example. in his original campaign he told everyone he was a firearms instructor that had given training to police and military. everyone reacted with “WOW! so AWESOME! He is SUPER strong on the 2nd amendment then!” Only problem is it was an outright lie. he has never been a firearms instructor to anyone under any circumstances. people who know him have said he barely knows how to shoot, and only learned how to shoot because he was working at action target. Prior to that he knew nothing about guns.

    I could go on (no really, I can go on for a LONG time about curtis), but I’ll stop here. He is a slimy pathological liar who is significantly better at hiding his democrat leanings than mitt romney.

    Herrod is pretty great actually. I’d put him up with mike lee as one of the best candidates available. Neither is perfect, but clearly top 5% of the gop. He was super conservative as a state congressman.

    1. Yeah, living in the north part I’d never paid much attention to Curtis’ particulars. Everything I’ve heard from people who do keep up there mirrors what you’re saying.

  8. If you are feeling depressed, consider that you could be in Massachusetts, where the Republicans rarely show up for an election, let alone win one. Of the 40 State Senators, 3 are Republicans. Of the 160 State Representatives, 29 are Republicans. Under 10% of the voters are registered Republican. The Republicans are busy infighting between the country club Republicans and the really conservative Republicans, though the latter appears finally to be winning. The Republicans elect Governors because that means the Democratic legislators are free to do their own things, and the Governor can say ‘yes’ or ‘oh, another veto overridden’.

    1. Yes, this is the same George Phillies who was just going on at Baen’s Bar about how honest and competent Liz Cheney is and that it’s a shame she went Republican instead of Democrat.

        1. I notice you neglected the last part of my sentence. It really interferes with your sucking up about Republicans when you don’t really mean it, right?

          1. No, it was relevant to *my* point about you sucking up. It’s okay. I’ll take your silence as a tacit admission.

        2. Honest and competent are not words one associates with the Cheneys. Maybe good at playing politics and who to kiss up to.

        3. ‘Honest’. ‘Competent’.

          You keep using those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

          At least, the meanings I associate with ‘honest’ and ‘competent’ do not in any way apply to Lying Lizzie. I hope to see her soon, standing on the Capitol steps holding a box full of office knickknacks.
          ———————————
          The Capitol is OUR house. Congresscritters are just the help.

  9. No obligatory bashing of Egg McMuffin running as an Independent for Mike Lee’s seat? Guy is a total grifting scumbag.

    No idea if he’s got any traction as an “Independent”, with Independent being defined as a former fake conservative touting his Anti Mean Tweets street cred while completely changing his stance on abortion. Given Lee’s lopsided win the last time around, I’m guessing Egg doesn’t have a chance.

    1. He’s a scumbag but irrelevant in the primary. I’ll talk about that shit head before the general.

  10. If you’re from southern Utah, I talked to Willie Billings today. He says the right things. I simply stopped him in a gas station and asked him why I should vote for him. Ended up chatting for half an hour. I like him though I’m still researching. His wife is the mayor of Hurricane and so far so good on her.

  11. So accurate. While way out of your county, the drama down in Utah county has been pretty extreme, with Leavitt flailing like the crazy person he is trying to hold on to the county attorney seat. Using that family money to buy signatures, then fundraising about personal attacks because he outed himself as being associated with an investigation that the sheriff is helping the FBI on.. That’s a pretty big freaking deal for our county that has so many ties to the rest of the Utah RINO groups.

    1. Yeah, since I wrote this post I’ve gotten quite the crash course in why Curtis sucks from my Utah County friends. I’d not paid him much attention because I was further north.

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