State Rep. Rich Cunningham voted against SB54 two years ago, indicating that he “disliked” the legislation which would allow candidates to “get around” the traditional Caucus and Convention system by collecting voter signatures. But that didn’t stop him from doing it anyway.
Then he lost at Convention. His competitor, State Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, by winning more than 60 percent of delegate votes, should have eliminated Cunningham in their Senate race at the Utah Republican Convention. That’s one of the advantages of the Convention system – when your neighborhood representatives (delegates) clearly favor one candidate over the others, they save the State quite a bit of money by eliminating the need for a Primary Election (remember, the State gets its money from you).
However, in this and other races across the state, candidates who obviously lost at Convention will still force a taxpayer funded Primary because they thumbed their noses at you and your neighborhood representatives, negating your voice for their entire terms of office.
That’s the other advantage of the Caucus and Convention system – and why so many “establishment” and incumbent candidates are afraid of it – your voice is heard, loud and clear, through your neighborhood representatives (your delegates) for their entire term of office. By gathering signatures and going straight to a Primary, sure, your individual vote is counted at the election – but your voice (and the voice of your neighborhood) is silenced until the next campaign season.