The Salt Lake Tribune
Will Replace State Senator?
Republicans deliberately picked only one person last week for Gov.
Mike Leavitt to consider as a replacement for Sen. David Steele,
And party Chairman Todd Weiler duly forwarded on
Friday the name of 35-year-old Lagoon marketing director Sheldon
But the unusual way party delegates picked Killpack has
raised some questions. The governor's spokeswoman, Natalie Gochnour,
said Leavitt's staff was reviewing the case. The questions, she
said, are routine.
Steele, a 17-year Capitol Hill veteran, resigned
earlier this month to focus on his job and spend more time with his
State law requires that party members follow "standard
procedure" when selecting candidates for the governor to appoint to
vacant legislative seats.
Thursday night, more than 100 Davis
County delegates voted in rounds of "instant runoff preferential
voting," where five candidates were progressively narrowed to two.
Before the votes, the delegates amended the proposed convention
rules to forward the name of the candidate who received 50 percent
of the vote plus one. In the final vote, Killpack received 59 votes.
Former State Rep. Paul Ray garnered 57 votes.
Normally, under state
Republican Party rules, a candidate who receives 60 percent of the
delegates' votes is the lone appointment. If neither candidate
receives 60 percent, both names are forwarded. However, the county
Republican Party's rules allow delegate amendments.
is: What does standard procedure mean?" Weiler asked.
argue the standard process was followed. On the other hand, you
could argue the standard procedure was not followed."
county delegates were determined to send just one name to Leavitt.
"The delegates want to keep the decision-making power at the
grass-roots level," he said. "They did not want to send two names
Senate President Al Mansell said he believes that is the
"It would seem to me they could change
their own rules," Mansell said. " With those kind of numbers, the
delegates make the choice."
appoints to replace Steele will face a November 2004
election. The winner of that race will finish the remaining two years of