James: predictions difficult to make for Republican Convention

There are several intra-party races for delegates attending Saturday’s Utah State Republican Party Convention. But the one that grabs the headlines pits incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Bennett against seven Republican challengers. They include Mike Lee, Leonard Fabiano, David Chiu, Tim Bridgewater, Cherilyn Eager, Jeremy Friedbaum and Merrill Cook.Cache County Republican Party Chairman David James won’t say who he supports, but he does believe not any one candidate will receive more than the 60 percent of votes needed to avoid a primary.”I personally believe they’ll wind up in a primary,” he says. “There are very strong challengers.” But when asked who will be in that primary, James struggled to name who it would be. “I honestly don’t know. The polls indicate that Mike Lee is ahead. My experience tells me that in a hotly contested race that polls tend to be notoriously wrong concerning delegates.”James says state delegates will also be voting in races that involve local candidates. Teresa Theurer and David Butterfield are running for legislature in District 4, the seat Fred Hunsaker is leaving. District 2 incumbent Ben Ferry is being challenged by Lee Perry. State delegates will also be voting on the race for State Senate District 17 which has incumbent Peter Knudsen being challenged by Jeff McNeill.Not only will the Republicans be gathering for their state convention, but the Democrats will also be gathering for their own convention. The Utah State Democratic Party Convention comes just days after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Peter Corroon announced that his runningmate is Republican State Representative Sheryl Allen.The two will be keynote speakers at the party’s convention. When asked to comment, James called the bi-partisan team “interesting.””They make for nice headlines for a day or two,” he continued. “It will be interesting to see how people perceive that. Honestly I don’t know if it will have any impact whatsoever on the election.”For Democrats, 2nd District Congressman Jim Matheson faces a challenge from a more liberal candidate: Claudia Wright.

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