Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A Group Of Utah Republicans Tried And Failed — Again — To Censure Romney At The State GOP Convention

Mitt Romney 2021 Utah GOP Republican Convention EM
Emily Means
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-UT, addresses delegates at the Utah GOP convention Saturday where he was met with booing from the crowd when he took the stage.

Members of Utah’s Republican party shut down a resolution Saturday at the state convention that would have censured Utah Sen. Mitt Romney in response to his votes to convict former President Donald Trump during his impeachment trials.

Nine delegates sponsored the formal statement of disapproval, which also thanked Utah’s federal delegation — minus Romney — for their votes against impeaching Trump.

Don Guymon, a delegate from Davis County, presented the resolution to mixed reception from the crowd.

“Mitt Romney’s votes to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in two illegitimate impeachment trials hurt our constitution, hurt our republic and hurt our party,” Guymon said.

Romney, who voted to convict Trump during both impeachment trials, didn’t directly mention the censure during his convention address earlier in the day, though he took the stage to a chorus of booing. Instead, he stressed the importance of unity in the GOP.

“If we divide our party, we're going to be a losing party,” Romney said. “The only way we're going to win is by coming together.”

It wasn’t the first time Utah Republicans tried to punish Romney for crossing party lines. Last year, members of the GOP’s state central committee wanted to censure him for his first vote to convict Trump. They failed then, too.

Rep. Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, sponsored a resolution to censure him during the 2020 Legislative Session. State legislative leaders shut that down.

Holly Richardson, a GOP delegate and former Republican state representative, wasn’t impressed with this most recent attempt.

“It's just an eye roll,” Richardson said. “It's an opportunity for people who want to feel heard, that Mitt Romney is going to hear that the Utah Republican Party is angry at him.”

Even if the resolution had passed, Richardson said censuring Romney probably wouldn’t have hurt him if he chooses to run for re-election in 2024.

But she said it could have turned off party donors who are more middle-of-the-road ideologically as well as sending a message to other people in the party.

“With delegates who do things like this, we perpetuate the notion that people with diverse political opinions aren't really welcome in the Republican Party,” Richardson said.

The measure failed on a 798 to 711 vote.

Emily Means is a government and politics reporter at KUER.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.