GOP Gov. Gary Herbert may well be facing a group of unhappy Republican Party delegates on May 20. He likely will be one of the few in the South Towne Convention Center advocating for a dual-route for candidates to a U.S. House special vacancy election. These are the same delegates who a year ago came within 140 votes of trying to kick Herbert out of office, giving their majority votes to his challenger, Overstock.com chairman Jonathan Johnson. Johnson failed to get 60 percent of the state delegate votes and faced Herbert in a closed June 2018 primary, where Herbert (popular among Republicans at large) crushed Johnson. Here is the proposed bylaw change, which delegates will vote on next Saturday.
The bylaw change has several interesting points:
- The delegates shall meet within 45 days of the vacancy.
- Any number of delegates shall be a quorum – in other words, there doesn’t need to be a majority of delegates or more.
- And a single candidate will be advanced to the special election, there couldn’t be two or three Republicans going to the determining ballot.
This is exactly what Herbert is now battling his own GOP leadership in the Utah House and Senate about.