An Open Letter to James Evans

The chairman of the Utah Republican Party sent a letter to precinct chairs last week. Unfortunately in that letter, Mr. Evans crossed a line that any elected person whether public official or party officer should never cross.

Mr. Chairman,

You’ve crossed an important line and I am disappointed by you and anyone among the leadership of the Utah Republican Party who felt that the letter you sent to precinct chairs last week was acceptable.

Obviously it is reasonable that you should communicate with precinct chairs. Certainly it is wise that you should inform them of items that you feel are adversely affecting the party that both you and they have been elected to support. Naturally we should expect and even want you to offer suggestions and encouragement for them to make a positive difference on issues of concern. Despite these truths, the paragraph that you requested the precinct chairs to read at the caucus meetings was out of line.

I see nothing wrong with you pointing out the disproportionate ratio of male to female delegates in past conventions. I also have no problem with your efforts to encourage women to run for delegate positions, to invite precinct chairs to do the same, and to share your concerns and the corresponding statistics with caucus attendees. The problem comes in your overt request that caucus attendees elect more female delegates.

I don’t mind if we do elect a higher proportion of women as delegates than we have in the past – my problem with your request isn’t the desire for more female delegates. My problem is that you would publicly express favoritism on intra-party elections. That is completely unacceptable for a party officer.

Our job as caucus attendees is to select the best people we can to represent us as delegates at the state and county conventions. Having more women running for those positions gives us more options to evaluate which is a good thing. Giving us the information regarding the 4 to 1 ratio of men to women in past conventions is useful information so that we can make an informed choice regarding who we send as delegates. Requesting that we elect more women is inappropriate as it is our job, not yours, to determine who in our individual precincts will best represent us – regardless of gender or gender ratio.

I appreciate your desire to make the party and the party conventions the best they can be but there is no excuse for crossing the line into telling party members how they should be shaping the party with their caucus votes.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.

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