New Utah GOP chairman says he’s figuring out debt situation

SALT LAKE CITY — Newly elected Utah Republican Party Chairman Rob Anderson said he is still figuring out the debt situation surrounding the state’s dominant political party.

Speaking to FOX 13 on Wednesday, Anderson said he was working to figure out the budget situation.

“I’m getting my arms around the debt,” he said, adding that rent hadn’t been paid on the GOP’s Eagle Gate party headquarters.

Rob Anderson, the newly elected chairman of the Utah GOP, speaks to delegates at the state convention on May 20, 2017. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

At Saturday’s state party convention, Anderson disclosed to delegates the party was at least $400,000 in debt in legal and operational expenses. The GOP has been mired in a lawsuit against the state over Senate Bill 54, the so-called “Count My Vote” compromise bill that allowed candidates to gather signatures or go through the caucus/convention system to get on the ballot.

That lawsuit is currently in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Anderson was elected party chairman by GOP delegates on Saturday, defeating James Evans (who was seeking re-election) and party vice-chair Phill Wright.

Anderson told FOX 13 he has already reached out to many Republican Party donors who had stopped giving and believed they would start donating again. He was also moving ahead with his plans to audit the party’s books and provide an accounting to Republicans.

“I hope to do that as quickly as possible,” he said.

Anderson has already made some internal changes, naming BJ Griffin as the party’s executive director. Cindie Quintana, the party’s communications director, was let go on Wednesday.

“I wish them well,” she told FOX 13. “I hope the party can fundraise and work themselves out of debt.”