Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 23, 2012
Write-in candidacy only way to challenge Republican convention system

I read in the Transcript Bulletin on Tuesday, Oct. 9, that Colleen Johnson is running as a “write-in” candidate. I am glad to see that she is — not because I want her to win, as I honestly have not decided which one of the current candidates I will vote for, but because I believe the Republican Party’s process for selecting candidates is flawed.

I truly enjoy the local caucus process, and I think the voting at the convention is fine, but I believe it is wrong for the convention process to whittle things down to one candidate, even if that candidate has a clear majority at the convention level.

I do not believe the relatively small number of votes cast at the convention fairly place a Republican candidate on the general ballot. I believe it would be far better to whittle it down to two candidates, and then allow the registered Republicans to vote in the primary for the candidate they want to run in the general election.

If there are six candidates for a position, then through the convention process the top two go to the primary. If there are only two candidates for a position prior to the primary, then those are the two names that should show up on the primary ballot.

In the last presidential election of 2008, about 17,000 votes were cast in the county. Demographics tell us that the majority of those had Republican Party leanings.  There will likely be as many or more votes cast this year, and that means that a handful of votes cast at the convention chose the final candidate for the many thousands of Republican-leaning voters. I believe that to be an unnecessary control.

Since this has been brought up before, then I believe the question remains: Why are those in control of the Republican Party afraid of a choice at the primary? The only conclusion I can come to is a fear of less control. That is a sad but realistic conclusion.

I believe it is time for the Republican Party to move from a position of control to one of helping us make an educated choice. If I only have two candidates to choose between, I am far more able to learn important things about them, as opposed to sifting through information for several candidates. If I am left with only one candidate, and I have a partisan leaning, then I really don’t have much choice at all.

The Republican Party should assist me in my choosing, not force a choice on me. Again, the question is why do they resist such a reasonable request as a choice in each primary?

I do not say that I hope Colleen Johnson wins, but I am glad she has chosen to give us a choice.

 

Jon McCartney, a Tooele resident, is pastor of the First Baptist Church.

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