Meet the Candidates for Utah Republican Party Secretary

Meet the Candidates for Utah Republican Party Secretary

The Utah Rural Republican Alliance recently sent out a survey to the candidates for Utah GOP Leadership. Here are the candidates for Party Secretary. The answers are unaltered and in a rotating basis.


What do you think the main responsibility is for the race you’re running for?

Cole Souza – I think the main responsibility of the secretary is organization and communication. The Secretary should as a link between state and county party, communicating data, ideas, and making sure Republicans win!

Lisa Shepherd – This is a perfect question for the Secretary whose duties are both outlined in the governing documents and customary to the Party, which is the focus of this Party Secretary. My view of the role is best explained by sharing what I do. I work to affect the General Purpose of the Party supporting the election of Republican candidates and promoting the Platform, and do so with an adherence to the Constitution and Bylaws (C&B). I am a member of the Elephant Club, Executive Committee (EC), and State Central Committee (SCC).  I am the convention secretary, but all other convention duties belong to the Convention Committees. I provide notice, minutes, agendas, attendance records, and rosters for the governing and standing committees. I provide requests for action from the Governing Committees to the Standing Committees. I administer roll call votes and update the C&Bs, as necessary.  I would like to train county secretaries. I find it important in this role to refrain from the debate brought before the membership of the SCC and stay focused on the duties of the office. I found it critical to publicly support the Republican Party Presidential nominee to ensure Utah’s electoral votes secured a Republican White House.

How do you plan to work with the elected officials if you’re elected?

Lisa Shepherd – In the role of the Secretary, I will continue to offer detailed information regarding and from the governing committees to the Chair and all members. By providing the specified duties of the secretary, support materials and contact information will be available to help any elected official in communicating with the governing bodies, if necessary.

Cole Souza – I plan to encourage elected officials to stand for the party platform. I would also like to help delegates and rank and file republicans across the state feel more connected to our elected officials.

What plans do you have to address the unique set of issues that rural Utah faces in your respective role?

Cole Souza – Rural Utah needs to make sure their voice within the party is protected. The state Secretary should listen to and coordinate with county party leadership in rural areas to ensure an equal voice at the table. Republicans from all parts of the state need to be able to feel bought in. It is the Secretary’s job to make sure that this line of communication to rural Utah is open, and that all areas of the state are represented.

Lisa Shepherd – I will encourage the Chairman to schedule SCC meetings once a year in a rural county as per the October 8, 2016 SCC resolution. In my travels to rural county events, I’ve witnessed solid County leadership and listened to delegates articulate the needs of their county proving beneficial to my understanding of the vast difference between the needs of our rural counties and the Wasatch front— a few examples; the same number of potential jobs heading to Emery County and Millard County would have a varied affect on each county, and how the Bears Ears Monument has affected the economy of San Juan County. The RURAL alliance is greatly beneficial to the SLC based State Party causing awareness to the issues and how the State Party should and can support the county parties and local elected officials to magnify their voices with the statewide, and Federal elected officials.  The secretary’s accurate roster of the governing committees facilitates these discussions and empowers the local voices. The voices of the rural counties remind me of why we have an Electoral College — to allow the collective voices and concerns of all county parties in Utah to be heard not just the populous counties.

How do you plan to help the party be more fiscally responsible in all areas?

Lisa Shepherd – Being fiscally responsible is an essential element of Republicanism and is critical to regaining the confidence of our Republican donors and base. While the Chair and Treasurer have a “hands on” knowledge, all Party officers must be privy to the financial matters of the Party. Absent this shared knowledge, Bylaw 1.5.E. & F. cannot properly come into compliance. I look forward to working with the Chair and Vice Chair to support and work with the Budget Committee (Party Treasurer, one member of the Audit Committee member, and four members of the SCC members appointed by the Party Chair approved by the SCC) to provide needed transparency of both our donated funds and expenditures.      The Officers customarily delegate many duties to the staff. As secretary, I’ve enabled our paid staff to focus their efforts on their expertise of their positions to the General Purposes of the Party as directed by the Chair by not delegating most of the URP Constitutional duties of the Secretary to the staff. The volunteer Convention Committee continues it customary delegated duty of the Conventions.

Cole Souza – The party needs a renewed focus on fundraising. As we heal some of the wounds of this past divisive election cycle, that will help. We also need to be seeking cheap alternative options for large projects and events. Though some projects are absolutely vital, we have to come up with better ways to fund them. We must practice what we preach when it comes to fiscal discipline. With a renewed focus on fundraising, as well as donations of labor and commodity we can once again be a model for fiscal responsibility and Republican principles.

And the most important question, Holstein, Angus or Hereford?

Cole Souza – Holstein have that classic “cow” look, but I am a steak guy so I’ll have to go with Hereford.

Lisa Shepherd – Whichever one Emery County grills for it’s Lincoln Day Dinner!

About author

Richard Jaussi
Richard Jaussi 32 posts

Richard is a political junkie. He teaches Political Science and US Constitution courses at a University. Richard can be found reading books on American history and politics. He resides in Utah County with his wife, 4 kids, and Frodo (their dog). You can reach him at

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