Meet the Candidates for Utah Republican Party Vice-Chair

Meet the Candidates for Utah Republican Party Vice-Chair

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


 

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

Joni Crane – As Vice-Chair the Party Constitution and By-laws are clear that I shall: 1- Assist the Chair in his or her duties and perform the Chair’s duties in the Chair’s absence. Those duties include:  serving as liaison with the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Utah on all matters relating to state election laws and furthering the general purposes the Utah Republican Party which are to nominate and support the election of Republican candidates in partisan races for public office, promote the principles set forth in the State Party Platform, and perform Party functions set forth in the election laws of the State of Utah and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Party. 2- I will assist and provide, without discrimination or restriction, equal access to Party information and services within their responsibility to all Republican candidates. 3- I will not publicly endorse or oppose any Republican candidate for partisan public office in Utah while the candidate is opposed by another Republican candidate for the same office. This neutrality requirement does not apply to the U.S. presidential race. 4- I won’t use State Party resources or my official title in any communication to the State Central Committee or to the State Convention delegates that supports or opposes a platform amendment, a resolution, or an amendment to the Constitution or Bylaws unless the issue has been approved by the State Central Committee.

Natalie Callahan – My responsibilities are to 1) Promote our Republican Platform to grow our base 2) Give advice and assistance to local county party leaders many of whom may be new in their role  3) Help organize effective caucus meetings; insure county parties have the resources they need in a timely manner to hold effective caucus meetings 4) Provide a level playing field for all Republicans running for office (as provided in party rules 5) Actively work to get Republicans elected after the primary election 6) Increase party finances by actively fundraising from donors both large and small (we need to grow our fundraising base)

Joe Levi – In addition to the duties enumerated in the bylaws, the Vice Chair of the Party has two primary responsibilities. 1. Support the Chair. 2. Act as Chair when the Chair is unable to. The Chair (as the “executive officer”) should be the media contact and public face of the Party, taking care of the “big picture” directions (which should be coming from the State Central Committee). The Vice Chair should act as the “operating officer”, handling the day-to-day activities of the Party. More information can be found at www.JoeLevi.com

Don Guymon – My responsibilities are to 1) Promote our Republican Platform to grow our base 2) Give advice and assistance to local county party leaders many of whom may be new in their role  3) Help organize effective caucus meetings; insure county parties have the resources they need in a timely manner to hold effective caucus meetings 4) Provide a level playing field for all Republicans running for office (as provided in party rules 5) Actively work to get Republicans elected after the primary election 6) Increase party finances by actively fundraising from donors both large and small (we need to grow our fundraising base)


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

Natalie Callahan – The UTGOP has been a resource to our Republican elected officials but we need to do better. If elected, I will lead out to have consistent communication between the state party and our current and future elected officials. I have worked on Republican campaigns from the local to the national level. I know what it takes to run and am very aware of the time commitment after a candidate wins. We need to give them resources to be productive and confident. I want to focus efforts on voter identification and recruitment. Strong data, along with other resources will give our Republican candidates a leg to stand on when planning their campaign and when communicating with constituents.

Joe Levi – My obligation is first to the elected neighborhood representatives. They are the voice of the Party. It is one of my goals to foster better relationships and easier communication between them and their elected officials.

Don Guymon – Every level of the Republican party is important.  Whether it be individuals who attend caucus up to and including our elected officials.  I will regularly meet with individuals from all levels of the party (including elected officials) to insure they have a voice in the party.  I will actively work to get Republicans elected in our general election. One area where we can improve is to have better communication of events our elected officials hold.  We need to get the word out and use the party to do this.

Joni Crane – As per our By-laws 7.2 PARTY OFFICER NEUTRALITY clause, I will not publicly endorse or oppose any Republican candidate for partisan public office in Utah while the candidate is opposed by another Republican candidate for the same office. After primaries, I will assist the Chairman in fully supporting our Party nominees in every way possible. Support may include: providing access and funding for strategic data, recruiting & activating volunteers, organizing campaign services and training to campaign staff & grassroots volunteers.  Post election I would promote access and events for delegates and elected officials to communicate. With the Chair’s approval and enough funding I would propose reinstating the mailing of legislative surveys for our Republican Caucus members who ask and show support for the party.


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

Joe Levi – I served as Vice Chair of the Davis County Republican Party, so I’m familiar with suburban and urban issues. I moved to Cache County to get back to my rural roots. I have experience in each of these areas of our State. By day I am a Web Developer, by night I am the Webmaster for the Cache County Republican Party and Utah Republican Party. With my background in Information Technology and my prior experience which includes serving as the Vice Chair of the Davis County Republican Party, I feel I am uniquely qualified to leverage technology to bring people who share our values into our Party; and simplify, standardize, and speed up our processes, thus freeing up Precinct and County Party leaders to foster better relationships between the elected neighborhood representatives (the Delegates), the people they represent, and our elected officials.

Don Guymon – I grew up on a cattle ranch in San Juan County and also lived in Sanpete, Cache and Box Elder counties.  I understand the needs of Republicans throughout the state vary.  As a member of the state central committee I made a motion to amend our party rules on caucus night to give local precincts more autonomy in how they conducted their meeting. A one size solution does not meet the needs of every county.  I will also actively work with county party officials from around the state (especially those new to their leadership roles) to give advice on how they can effectively organize their local parties.  I will actively work to promote our platform.  One of the planks of our platform deals with the land issues and federal control of land in rural Utah.  We need to especially promote this important plank in our platform.

Joni Crane – I would like to see us improve access and remote meeting technology so it is easier and more common to see rural Utahns run for positions of leadership and  allow remote votes for these leaders to reduce driving, lodging and work-time sacrifices. I would support reinstating the position “Chair of County Chairmen.”  In this capacity, serving with Thomas Wright, I was able to improve communication to the delegates and county parties. We created an environment where County Chairs could ask questions, discuss and mentor each other which translated into better trained county party leaders, precinct leaders and better caucus night experiences for the attendees.  I would also love to create a video explaining the differences between county party organizations and governance styles so that SCC members had a clear understanding of how broad stroke by-law changes in county party operations might sometimes have unintended effects on rural counties.

Natalie Callahan – It starts with communication. I am a partner at The Dicio Group, a PR firm that works with governments and non-profits. Our clients include rural Utah counties and organizations that advocate for rural issues. I feel I have a connection to rural Utah and understand that we are facing are different from those on the Wasatch front. As Vice Chair, I don’t want anyone to hesitate to make a phone call when the state party needs to step up and advocate for rural Utah. I am committed to working together to give attention to those areas.


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

Don Guymon – In one of my previous jobs I had the nickname of “Don the Hammer”,  because I looked at every dollar of expense and questioned unnecessary expense.  I will do this as vice-chair of the party.  I will also work to grow our fundraising base.  No longer can we rely on only the big donors to fund our party.  We need to grow the fundraising base with donors both large and small.

Joni Crane – I would love to increase understanding of our financial operations. Diversifying our fund raising methods would be a priority so we could stop relying on donations from elected officials to pay our operating expenses. Last November I was contracted to raise money to fund our Election Night Victory Party at Rice Eccles Stadium. With help we raised 16K to prepay for the entire event. We should never plan events so poorly that they leave us in debt. Some items I have already proposed include: reorganizing our billing methods for Elephant Club, refreshing and revising our sustaining membership program, reducing services where possible or renegotiating contracts that are unreasonable and providing realistic deliverable to large donors that will be reliable and trusted. I would also like to create a video explaining fundraising opportunities and events in contrast to financial oversight of collection and distribution of State and Federal funds.

Natalie Callahan – First of all, we need to have honest conversations about what the UTGOP we can afford. Second, I believe the UTGOP needs to be transparent about where money is spent. If we are accountable to our members, I think the party will make more conservative decisions. I have overseen events for the Utah Republican Party that have brought in approximately $250,000. As Vice Chair, I will place a focus on creative ways to fundraise and build donor relationships.

Joe Levi – 1. The Party must assemble the Budget Committee & pass a balanced budget.
2. The elected Treasurer needs to be involved in every aspect of the Party’s finances.
3. As much as I dislike it, money buys favors. We need to shift the financial support of the Party from big-dollar-donors to small donations from our neighbors – thereby putting the “favor” back to the people in the neighborhoods.
4. The Party should regularly review its financial obligations and “trim the fat” where possible.


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

Joni Crane – Easy … Holstein, Everybody loves MILK!

Natalie Callahan – Angus. Medium rare. Must come with mashed potatoes, or don’t even bother. 🙂

Joe Levi – As long as it comes from a local farmer (preferably from Cache County), it’s the best.

Don Guymon – Nothing beats an Angus steak.

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