Promoting the principles of the State Party Platform, the Republican Party of Utah was founded at the middle of the 19th century, more specifically in 1854. The ideologies that best describe the Party include conservatism, fiscal conservatism and social conservatism. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, the Utah Republican Party abides by the elections laws, constitution, and bylaws of the Party.
Also known as Lincoln’s Party, the governance of the Republican Party of Utah is very well represented by the following quote: “Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” -Abraham Lincoln
History of the Republican Party of Utah
Utah’s political life started right after the Woodruff Manifesto. The Republican Party along with the Democratic one began to take shape. In the 19th century, politics were influenced in a major way by both Parties. However, as the 20th century began, Republicans became the dominant Party in the state. In those times the organization also allied with the Mormons and Gentiles, which strengthened the Republicans even more.
Although they had more members than ever, Republicans started to lose ground in the 1930’s when Democrats began to slowly take control of the state’s politics. The Democratic Party continued to dominate Utah until the Second World War ended. Republicans were finally in the controlling position once again. Arthur V. Watkins, a Republican moderate, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1946. Other important Republican figures in the post-war period included Ezra Taft Benson, Secretary of Agriculture under Dwight Eisenhower, and Congressmen William A. Dawson, Henry Aldous Dixon, and Douglas Stringfellow.
Later, starting from 1948 until 1964 the dominant figure in the state Republican party was conservative and controversial J. Bracken Lee. The 60’s were great years for the conservatives, but times were about to get even better for them, as from 1974 until 1986, no major office in Utah changed from Republican to Democratic hands.
Utah remained in the national Republican orbit for the rest of the 20th century.
Today, the state of Utah is still dominated by Republicans and in fact, no Democrat has won statewide office since 1996. In 2014, when Mia Love replaced Jim Matheson in congress in 2014, Utah's congressional delegation became all-Republican.
Party Caucuses are held every two years in Utah. The state has 29 counties and each of them has its own party organization operating within that county and sending delegates to the State Central Committee.
“The Republican Party is a party by the people and for the people. We appreciate the productivity of our citizens, affirm the infinite worth of all individuals, and seek the best possible quality of life for all. We invite all citizens to join us in working together for a better Utah.”
Chairman – Robert Anderson
Vice Chair – Kera Birkeland
Secretary – Lisa Sheperd
Treasurer – Abram Young
Party Platform – ratified at the 2009 State Convention
“We, the Republican Party of the Great State of Utah, affirm our belief in God and declare our support for government based upon a moral and spiritual foundation. We affirm freedom for every individual as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and protected by the Constitution. We believe that citizens' needs are best met through free enterprise, private initiative, and volunteerism. We support the “Rule of Law” and believe in upholding the law of the land.”
The Platform addresses several issues in details which include:
· The proper role of government – “We believe government properly exists by the consent of the governed and must be restrained from intruding into the freedoms of its citizens. The function of government is not to grant rights, but to protect the unalienable, God-given rights of life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.”
· Ethics and standards – “We demand honesty, integrity, morality, and accountability of our public officials. We will work to expose and stop corruption.”
· Freedom of religion – “We claim freedom of religion for every citizen and expect the protection of government in securing to us this unalienable right. We affirm the right to religious expression, including prayer, in both private and public.”
· Family values – “We recognize the traditional family as the fundamental unit of society. We affirm that parents have the fundamental right and primary responsibility to direct the upbringing of their children and to provide nurturing care, discipline and training in moral values.”
· Education – “We believe that all children should have access to quality education. Parents have the primary right and responsibility to educate their children, and we support their right to choose public, private, or home education. We support incentives to promote competitive excellence. We encourage cooperative initiatives to help all Utahans become literate in English. We support the prudent and profitable use of school trust lands. We support all interest and dividends from the permanent State School Fund being distributed to each public and charter school to improve student academic performance.”
· Economic development – “We believe that a strong, diversified economy based on a positive work ethic, a well-trained and well educated work force, a business-friendly environment, and safe work place will help Utah compete in a world market place. We believe that developing our human resources is essential to the future of Utah. We support the Utah Right to Work Law.”
State sovereignty – “The 13 original Sovereign States in Constitutional Convention created the Constitution of the United States of America and subsequently ratified that document creating a Federal Government and granting to that Government limited and enumerated powers. The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States defines Federal powers as those enumerated in the Constitution and reserves all other powers to the States and to the People. It remains the sacred responsibility of the States as creators of the Federal Government to keep the federal powers within the limits set by the Constitution. We resolve that the Republican Party of the Great State of Utah and elected party members take any and all steps necessary to ensure that Federal powers exercised within the Great State of Utah not exceed those granted by the Constitution of the United States, and that those usurpations of State Sovereign Powers already violated by the Federal Government be corrected by the State Legislature and enforced by the Governor’s office thus protecting Utah State Sovereignty.”