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Gov. Herbert Prefers Presidential Primary Over Caucus

Governor Gary Herbert
File: Governor Gary Herbert

Utah Governor Gary Herbert says he’s glad Tuesday’s caucus meetings were well attended, but that he’d prefer moving back to a presidential primary.

Unlike in recent presidential election years, this year the Utah Republican and Democratic parties did not participate in a state funded presidential primary. The legislature had offered to pay for it, but because it wouldn’t have occurred until late June, Utah Republican Party leaders said they wouldn’t participate. That led the legislature to decide not to fund a primary, leaving it up to the parties to hold presidential caucuses.

At his monthly news conference on KUED Channel 7, Governor Gary Herbert said he’s glad the decision resulted in moving up when Utahns participate in the presidential election, but

“It would have been probably even better if we had a regular day set aside for a presidential primary.”

Herbert then went even further and said as head of the National Governor’s Association, he’s been advocating for a move to a rotating regional presidential primary schedule, so some states wouldn’t always be last.

“You could have one section of the country in April. One section in May, June, July," he said. "It would be less expensive. Every state would be able to participate. You may not be strong in the East but you may be strong in the West. You could stay in the race for four months and everybody would have a say and I think we would get a better outcome.”

Herbert also said while there were a few problems, he’s mostly pleased with how the Utah GOP’s online voting went. But he also noted it’s not likely the state will move to online voting any time soon. 

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