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Gov. Herbert opposes Republican Party ‘purity panel’

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Posted at 6:29 PM, May 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-15 09:29:32-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Governor Gary Herbert is with Republican Party leaders when it comes to the state's caucus convention system. He said he feels like it helps the little guy fight for office against someone with a lot of money or a lot of rich friends, but the governor made clear in his monthly news conference at the University of Utah that he does not support proposals that centralize power with party leaders.

One proposal would demand candidates get approval from a party committee before they can get on the ballot as a Republican.

"I don't know that you need to sit before some kind of purity panel," Herbert said.

Herbert also said he thinks it's a bad idea to fine candidates who take advantage of a new law and avoid the party convention in favor of getting signatures on a petition for a primary.

"It wouldn't be good policy," he said. "You shouldn't have to pay a fee to be a Republican and enter the political fray."

The state party released responses to an internal questionnaire of party members, delegates, and elected leaders. The unscientific poll showed support for the party's moves to fight the new primary system. But party members agreed with the governor in opposing the "purity test."