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Utah GOP Drops Costly Lawsuit Over Election Law

Julia Ritchey
Republican delegates gather at the June 17 caucus convention to nominate a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District special election.

The Utah Republican Party is dropping its legal challenge to a state election law that divided its membership and drowned the party in debt.

Party chairman Rob Anderson says they’re pulling the plug on the lawsuit against S.B. 54. That’s the three-year-old law that established a dual path to the ballot for candidates through either signature gathering or the caucus convention system.  

“It was a decision between the officers and the budget committee, and it was basically the fact that we have got ourselves in a position of...retained deficit over the last three years,” he says.

Not only that, but the suit has bitterly divided Republicans, some of whom wanted to keep the suit going.

The case was currently in appeal before the 10th Circuit Court in Denver. While Anderson says they could’ve waited for a decision, the eventual outcome would’ve meant more money.

“It’s ripping the Band-Aid off the wound, but I think at this point we can start healing," he says. "So hopefully in a month we’ll be back on the road to financial solvency… [and] actually focused on the things we really  should be focused on, and should’ve been focused on all along.”

The case may have been moot, anyway. A new ballot initiative called Count My Vote seeks to eliminate the caucus convention system altogether and establish a direct primary.


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