KAYSVILLE – The good news for GOP candidate Katie Witt of Kaysville is that she recently picked up endorsements from influential conservative individuals and groups.
The bad news for the mayor of Kaysville was that she was also formally censured by the Kaysville City Council.
Those recent endorsements might be particularly valuable for Witt, since her strategy in the race for the Republican nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop seems to be to prove that she’s more conservative than anyone else in the running.
Since June 1, Witt has been endorsed by U.S. Rep. Debbie Lesco, R-Arizona; U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-West Virginia; and former U.S. representative and GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez of Colorado.
Witt was also endorsed by The Susan B. Anthony List, a leading pro-life organization.
The endorsement was announced by Marilyn Musgrave, the group’s vice president for governmental affairs and a former U.S. representative from Colorado.
Musgrave praised Witt as “a passionate advocate for women, children and families who will champion Utah’s pro-life values in Congress.”
The Susan B. Anthony List is a non-profit group that advocates for banning abortions in the United States by supporting pro-life politicians, particularly women, through its political action committee.
Witt has previously been endorsed by the American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Witt’s rivals for the GOP nomination are former Utah agriculture commissioner Kerry Gibson of Ogden, Salt Lake City businessman Blake David Moore and Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson. But Witt has spent more time recently sparring with members of the Kaysville City Council than those competing candidates.
Witt and council members have been verbally dueling since early May when the mayor approved a country music concert at a city park that seemed certain to violate the statewide mandate against large public gatherings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Witt said she approved the event to support the right of local businesses to reopen and to defend citizens’ constitutional right of free assembly. The Kaysville City Council loudly went on record as opposing the event to protect public health.
The concert was eventually postponed and moved elsewhere, but the bad blood remained.
The council members voted unanimously on June 4 to issue a letter of censure that stopped just short of calling for the mayor’s resignation.
Witt appeared to be unapologetic and unimpressed.
“I’m perfectly willing to take a slap on the wrist for defending the Constitution,” she said.