Richard Davis, chair of the newly formed centrist United Utah Party, provided an update on the status of the party’s certification by the Utah Elections Office.
“We are working with the Lt. Governor’s office. We have submitted everything needed for the Lt. Governor to certify our political party,” Davis said. “They have had nearly three weeks to review, and we are hopeful that they will complete that review within the next day or two. The UUP is exploring the possibility of seeking judicial intervention, if it is necessary, but we are hopeful at this point that such action will not be necessary and that the Lt. Governor’s office will protect the important right of access to the ballot and certify the party and then place the UUP candidate on the ballot.”
The party submitted over 2000 signatures on May 25 and an additional 600 signatures on May 26. The party has been waiting for the Utah Elections Office to certify the party. The party has scheduled a nominating convention for Saturday, June 17, to formally nominate Jim Bennett as the party’s candidate in the Third Congressional District special election race. Bennett was turned down when he sought to file as a UUP candidate on May 26 because the party was not certified at that time.
“Once the party is certified, that objection will be moot,” Davis explained. “We are optimistic that this issue can be settled and voters will be able to see Jim Bennett on their ballot and not be denied an opportunity to vote for a United Utah Party candidate.”
The United Utah Party is a new party intended to appeal to moderate Utah voters. Participants in the new party consist of former unaffiliated, Republican, and Democratic voters. The party supports reforms of the political system including term limits, stricter campaign finance limits, an independent redistricting commission, and more non-partisan elections.