New Utah Republican Chairman Deciding Whether to Continue Divisive Lawsuit

New Utah Republican Chairman Deciding Whether to Continue Divisive Lawsuit

The AP has reported that Rob Anderson, the newly appointed Republican chairman who defeated two incumbent candidates in May, would like for the Republican party to end its long term legal case over a law which changes how political candidates are nominated. However, he hasn’t taken any action to end the lawsuit until he can garner more support from party members.

In 2014, a law titled Senate Bill 54 was passed by the Utah Legislature and signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert. It granted permission for political candidates to bypass party nominating conventions in lieu of getting voter signatures through a primary election.

It was heavily contested by the Utah GOP. They filed a lawsuit, claiming that the law violated its constitutional rights.

Anderson maintains that the lawsuit has divided and caused turmoil within the Utah GOP and has been exceedingly costly to the party, causing it to incur a lot of debt to maintain the legal case. Because of his desire to stop spending so much money on a lawsuit lasting for years, he feels he is facing a mutiny from his fellow Republicans. According to, fifty-three Republican state central committee members recently sent Anderson a letter which threatened to act against him if he ends the party’s lawsuit over Senate Bill 54.

Anderson shared the letter by email with Utah Republic GOP members, stating that

"It appears their intent is to remove me as Chairman."
He continued, saying,
“I was a little bit disappointed. I’m a little concerned that we’re working against each other, not for each other.”

Although many Utah Republicans want nominations to remain as they were before, the party owes more than $300,000 in debt for the legal proceeding, as well as other pending bills. Anderson has stated that he has raised some money, but he repeated that the lawsuit can’t be financially sustained.

On September 9th, the governing State Central Committee for the Republican party debated whether to end the lawsuit during a six-hour meeting. The meeting adjourned without getting a determining vote.

The experienced governmental affairs attorneys at the law firm of Spencer & Jensen specialize in Utah State government and politics.

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