This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2016, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The fact that most major candidates, all expected to easily win their races, won't be at the Utah Republican Party victory celebration Tuesday night is another example of the negative effect the GOP's lawsuit against the state has had.
"I remember when the party raised money and gave it to the candidates to help them win their elections," said one Republican elected official, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. "Now, the party is asking candidates who raise their own money for campaigns to give it to the party."
The Utah GOP is hosting a victory party at the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium as all of its candidates in the statewide and congressional races are poised to win big.
But Sen. Mike Lee won't be there. Neither will Reps. Mia Love nor Jason Chaffetz nor Gov. Gary Herbert nor Attorney General Sean Reyes.
And the Utah County Republican legislators? They are having their own party at Orem's Terra Mia Ristorante.
Lee and Love are co-hosting a victory party at Noah's in South Jordan. Herbert is staying at the Governor's Mansion and watching the returns with family, close friends and senior aides.
That leaves news media crews scrambling to get interviews from the winning candidates on election night.
The whole thing started when the state GOP asked major candidates to kick in $2,500 to $10,000 to be featured at the victory party. That didn't go over well nor did the idea it floated to charge $25 for anyone who wasn't a guest of the respective campaigns.
The party is strapped for cash, largely due to expenses from the lawsuit it filed to nullify the law passed by the Legislature that allows alternate paths to the primary ballot.
Besides its legal tab, the move offended a number of Republican legislators who felt their own party was suing them.
The GOP, which has been dodging bill collectors for past-due obligations it incurred from conventions and other events, has tried other ways to squeeze money from its own candidates.
During the 2015 organizing convention, the party allowed Jonathan Johnson to speak for a fee of $25,000. He used the time to announce his bid to challenge Herbert in 2016.
Another idea floated on Facebook and other venues was to charge elected delegates to come to future conventions.
For now, if reporters are desperate to find candidates for interviews, they can talk to the losers who will be gathered at the Democratic Party get-together at no charge at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City.
It's not too late, for some • While last Tuesday marked the deadline to register to vote, if you think you blew it and missed the opportunity, you still can register in person if you live in the right areas.
Because of a pilot program initiated by the Legislature, voters in eight counties Cache, Davis, Kane, Millard, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sanpete and Weber can register at their polling place.
Critics say that information is hard to find on the Utah lieutenant governor's website, but state elections director Mark Thomas says the same-day registration information is not displayed more prominently for fear folks outside those counties would mistakenly get the impression they could wait until Election Day, then discover they live in the wrong ZIP code.