Utah GOP delegates elect new party chairman at organizing convention

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Republican Party met to elect party officials and set party policy on Saturday, but it was also an opportunity for conservatives to express their frustrations.

Republican delegates elected James Evans as the new state party chairman. He will replace outgoing chairman Thomas Wright. Delegates also voted against making changes to the party’s candidate selection process.

A call for changes on the federal level was a theme at this year’s Utah Republican Party Organizing Convention, and Utah’s Congressional delegation slammed President Barack Obama’s administration over recent controversy like the IRS targeting Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny.

Senator Orrin Hatch said the issue with the IRS troubles him.

“This IRS thing is more concerning to me than almost anything else I’ve seen since I’ve been in the United States Senate,” he said. “If we can have an independent agency of government, the most powerful agency, pull this kind of crap on American citizens we’ve lost our liberty and our freedoms. We cannot allow that to happen.”

Senator Mike Lee also expressed frustration with the current administration.

“What we saw with the IRS, with the Associated Press, with Bengazi is that we should be worried because those all confirmed our biggest fears about government,” he said. “Your government is targeting you, your government is spying on you, and your government is lying to you.”

Mia Love, who challenged Congressman Jim Matheson for the 4th Congressional District in 2012, announced she will run again in 2014.