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Utah, home of conservative Trump critics, hosts GOP meeting | National government and new policies

Stuart Stevens and Reed Galen, two co-founders of the Lincoln Project, live in Park City. The group was founded in 2019 by current and former Republicans disillusioned with the direction of the GOP under Trump.

But the GOP was Utah’s fastest-growing political party during Trump’s tenure, adding more than 200,000 registered active voters. Trump won hundreds of thousands more votes in 2020 than in 2016, increasing his share of the electorate by double digits.

“They predicted that Utah would turn more blue, or even turn into a purple state, in the last election. But Utah actually moved the other way,” said Utah Republican Party Chairman Carson Jorgensen, a 32-year-old sheep farmer from rural Sanpete County.

Jorgensen said he hopes the winter meeting will showcase Salt Lake City as an ideal location for the party’s convention in 2024. The RNC plans to make a decision on a host this spring and is considering Nashville, Tennessee, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh in addition to Salt Lake City. The 2020 convention was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, with business sessions held in Charlotte, North Carolina, and other events in Washington, DC, including, controversially, at the White House.

“We’re a really good fit for that, for the simple fact that we’ve been under Republican conservative governance for a long time now,” Jorgensen said, noting Utah’s economic growth and low unemployment rate. “These things don’t happen by accident. I think the RNC is really starting to take notice, even as the states around us turn really blue.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion