I’ve got some great exclusive news to share with you all.
I had an amazing phone conversation with Rep. Jason Chaffetz recently. In an unprecedented move, he told me that he renounced his automatic delegate (Ex Officio) position with the Utah County Republican Party. “Just because I’m a Congressman doesn’t mean I should be an automatic delegate,” Jason said.
Yes, you heard it correctly, he just gave up his State AND County delegate position. Chaffetz’ delegate position can now be allocated to someone else in the party according to the Party bylaws.
He gave his official notice to the Utah County Party Secretary, Lisa Sheperd. In place of the automatic delegate positions, he is receiving an honorary non-voting credential to the convention.
I’ve never heard of any public official doing this, ever.
This all came about because of a technicality (Bylaw 1.A.5) that requires a written acceptance of such positions. Lisa Shepherd sent out a reminder to Chaffetz and other automatic delegates asking for their written acceptance. Chaffetz’ trend setting response will surely be long remembered and followed, I hope.
I asked Lisa what she thought of Chaffetz’ response. “At first I was surprised. Then I remembered previously having read a letter signed by Jason and some others that stated they didn’t agree with the the whole automatic delegate status. Then, I thought, hmmm….he does both walk the walk and talk the talk. Jason does what he believes is right and that is why the people of the 3rd District admire him.”
In my opinion delegate positions should be earned uniformly by going to your precinct caucus and winning the favor of your neighbors. Right now, elected officials are given an automatic delegate position simply by virtue of the public office they hold. These positions should not be used like an award, gift or some kind of recognition.
This news comes at an interesting time. Coincidentally there is currently a lawsuit against the State and County Parties over these automatic delegate positions. The suit claims the Party rules don’t allow automatic delegates.
Chaffetz has done the right thing, try asking your elected officials if they would consider doing the same