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United Utah Party

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United Utah Party
ChairpersonHillary Sterling
Membership (2021)2,565[1]
Third Way
Political positionCenter[2]
U.S. House of Representatives (Utah Seats)
0 / 4
Seats in the State Senate
0 / 29
Seats in the State House
0 / 75
Other elected offices1 (Teri McCabe - Provo City School Board)

The United Utah Party (UUP) is a centrist, third way political party in the United States. It was founded in 2017 and is active only in the state of Utah. The party identifies itself as politically moderate, and was created out of frustration with the Republican and Democratic parties.


Background and formation

Prior to the formation of the United Utah Party, Brigham Young University (BYU) political science professor Richard Davis had considered forming a political party for years. According to Davis, he found people were open to an alternative political party during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[3] He announced the formation of the party on May 22, 2017.[4] Davis became a chairperson for the party. Jim Bennett, the son of former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett, was the party's executive director until he stepped down to run as the UUP's candidate in a special congressional election to replace Jason Chaffetz.[2] Nils Bergeson, a former U.S. foreign service officer, became the party's second executive director in 2018.[5]

2017 Utah congressional election

On May 26, 2017, Jim Bennett attempted to apply as an affiliated candidate in Utah's 3rd congressional district special election, 2017, but the lieutenant governor's office rejected the application because the elections office had not had 30 days to finish certifying the new party.[6][7] Bennett refused to register as an unaffiliated candidate.[8] Utah's elections office certified the party on June 27, 2017.[9]

Former logo used in the 2017 and 2018 elections.
Former logo used in the 2017 and 2018 elections.

On June 21, 2017, the UUP filed a lawsuit against Utah state officials to get Bennett's name on the ballot.[10] In court, a Utah state attorney argued that the UUP could have formed earlier to meet the application deadline. A party lawyer argued that only a "soothsayer" could have predicted that Jason Chaffetz would resign from the U.S. House of Representatives.[11] On August 2, 2017, a federal judge in charge of the case ordered Utah election officials to allow Bennett on the ballot under the United Utah Party.[12]

2018 UUP Convention.
2018 UUP Convention.

In late September 2017, Bennett narrowly qualified to participate in the Utah Debate Commission's selective debate, along with the election's Republican and Democratic candidates, John Curtis and Kathie Allen.[13] The special election was held on November 7, 2017, and Bennett conceded the race hours after the polls closed and initial results showed Curtis winning and Allen getting second place.[14] Bennett got third place with 9.3% of the popular vote.[15]

2018 House of Representatives elections

In February 2018, two UUP candidates announced they would run for the United States House of Representatives: Jan Garbett and Logan, Utah native Eric Eliason, who challenged Republicans Chris Stewart and Rob Bishop respectively.[16] On March 20, 2018, the United Utah Party held caucuses at 19 locations with attendance of just over 900 people, when the party had just over 400 registered members.[17] Garbett later withdrew from the race. Eliason was defeated, receiving 11.6% of the vote as Rob Bishop was reelected to what would become his final term.

2020 elections


Name Office
Brian Fabbi State Auditor
Thomas McNeill US Representative - CD3
Jonia Broderick US Representative - CD4
Emily Bergeson State Senator - SD7
Chris Rawlins State Representative - HD6
Shawn Ferriola State Representative - HD12
Ammon Gruwell State Representative - HD15
Cabot Nelson State Representative - HD25
Tanner Greenhalgh State Representative - HD29
Adam Bean State Representative - HD35
Dave Lundgren State Representative - HD41
Ryan Boudwin State Representative - HD42
Jeff Bardin State Representative - HD43
John Jackson State Representative - HD44
Joseph Shelton State Representative - HD48
Kate Walters State Representative - HD56
Homer Morrill State Representative - HD58
Catherine Eslinger State Representative - HD59
Christine Heath State Representative - HD60
Nils Bergeson State Representative - HD61
Austin Simcox State Representative - HD63
Piper Manesse State Representative - HD72
Ed Phillips Millard County Commissioner
Monette Clark San Juan County Commissioner
Larry Smith Sanpete County Commissioner

2022 elections


Name Office
Evan McMullin Senate (endorse)
Thomas Horne State Treasurer (special)
Jay Mcfarland US Representative - CD2
January Walker US Representative - CD4
Kimberly Wagner State Senator - SD7
Dennis Roach State Senator - SD14
Jed Nordfeldt State Senator - SD18
Tyler Peterson State Senator - SD19
Patricia Bradford State Senator - SD28
Ammon Gruwell State Representative - HD15
Cabot Nelson State Representative - HD23
Evan Rodgers State Representative - HD30
Adam Bean State Representative - HD32
Tim Loftis State Representative - HD40
David Jack State Representative - HD42
Ladd Johnson State Representative - HD46
Dave Lundgren State Representative - HD47
Andrew Matishen State Representative - HD54
Alan Wessman State Representative - HD64
Zeno Parry State Representative - HD70
Piper Manesse State Representative - HD71
Jonathan Munoz Millard County Commissioner

Political positions

According to former UUP chairman Richard Davis, the party's platform is mostly based on laws and principles, rather than specific social positions.[3] He told The Salt Lake Tribune that the party supports term limits, stricter campaign-finance laws, efforts to stop gerrymandering, and increased school funding. The party's platform also includes enforcing immigration laws "with compassion," and generally opposes abortion with specific exceptions.[2] The party believes that public lands can be preserved while still allowing economic development.[3] The UUP supports the right of responsible gun owners to possess firearms.[18]

The UUP supports efforts to stop using taxpayer money in the Utah Republican Party's closed primary elections.[19] On December 1, 2017, the party called for greater transparency regarding sexual harassment allegations on Capitol Hill.[20] In January 2018, the UUP announced support for the "Our Schools Now" initiative, a proposed progressive tax meant to increase funding for education.[21]


  1. ^ "Current Voter Registration Statistics". July 28, 2020. Archived from the original on July 31, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "New centrist party forms in Utah to attract disaffected Republicans, Democrats". The Salt Lake Tribune. May 22, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Jarman, Sara (August 10, 2017). "What is the United Utah Party?". KSL-TV. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Romboy, Dennis (May 22, 2017). "Frustrated Utah Republicans, Democrats form new centrist political party". Deseret News. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  5. ^ "United Utah Party caucuses exceed expectations with 900 attendees".
  6. ^ Tanner, Courtney; Harrie, Dan (May 25, 2017). "Jim Bennett tries to jump into race for Congress, but state won't let him under new party's banner". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Harris, Dylan Woolf (May 27, 2017). "Hot for Chaffetz' Seat". Salt Lake City Weekly. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  8. ^ Roche, Lisa Riley (June 17, 2017). "Backers of new Utah political party say they'll sue to get candidate in congressional race". KSL-TV. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  9. ^ Ritchey, Julia (June 27, 2017). "New Centrist Party Recognized By State Amid Lawsuit". KUER 90.1. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  10. ^ "New Utah party sues to get onto ballot to replace Chaffetz". Fox News. June 22, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  11. ^ Romboy, Dennis (July 14, 2017). "State, United Utah Party argue over access to 3rd District special election ballot". KSL-TV. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  12. ^ Price, Michelle L. (August 2, 2017). "Judge: Bennett's Son Can Join Utah Race to Replace Chaffetz". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved August 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Tanner, Courtney (September 22, 2017). "United Utah hopeful Jim Bennett qualifies for 3rd District debate in race to fill seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Tanner, Courtney (November 7, 2018). "Republican John Curtis easily beats Democrat Kathie Allen, even in Salt Lake County". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  15. ^ "Utah Election Preliminary Results". Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  16. ^ Cathcart, Preston (February 13, 2018). "United Utah Party candidates to challenge 2 congressmen". Deseret News. Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  17. ^ Klopfenstein, Jacob (March 22, 2018). "United Utah Party caucuses exceed expectations with 900 attendees". KSL-TV. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  18. ^ "Platform". United Utah Party. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  19. ^ Davidson, Lee (August 10, 2017). "New party seeks to end state funding for closed Republican primaries". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  20. ^ Romboy, Dennis (December 2, 2017). "Utah Rep. Mia Love proposes to end taxpayer-funded sexual harassment settlements". KSL-TV. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  21. ^ Wood, Benjamin (January 18, 2018). "United Utah party backs $715 million-a-year school funding initiative, but state's Democrats and GOP aren't choosing sides". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved January 19, 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 May 2022, at 21:24
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