James Evans becomes first African American to chair Utah Republicans


SALT LAKE CITY — James Evans will serve as the first African American to serve as chairman for the Utah Republican Party after being elected by delegates at this year’s state Republican Convention.

Evans will be taking over for former chairman Thomas Wright who did not run for re-election.

“Number one, I want to get Republicans elected to office and number two I want to get Republicans elected to office,” Evans told delegates. “I also want to make sure that we can preserve the Caucus/Convention system.”

Utah Republican Party's Chairman James Evans addresses the Utah Republican Party's annual organizing convention, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo by Rick Bowmer)
Utah Republican Party’s Chairman James Evans addresses the Utah Republican Party’s annual organizing convention, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo by Rick Bowmer)

Evans is a former state senator and served as Chair of the Salt Lake County Republican Party for four years. He’s also worked as a member of the Salt Lake County GOP Bylaws Committee.

Newly elected Vice Chair Willie Billings, former chair of the Washington County Republican Party, said one of his campaign goals is to educate the younger people of Utah about voting.

“The more these teen Republicans understand the voting process and the Utah caucus system, the better,” Billings said.

Michele Mumford was elected to the state party secretary position.

Love announces she will run again

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love also made waves at the convention as she formally announced she will run for congress again in 2014.

Last year, Love challenged incumbent Congressman Jim Matheson for the 4th Congressional District and became an iconic figure for the Republican party in the process, even speaking at the Republican National Convention.  Despite her elevated profile, however, she lost to Matheson last November in a tightly contested race.

Republicans criticize IRS, Department of Justice and Obama administration for recent scandals

Delegates and speakers expressed their displeasure with the federal government at the convention, saying they were frustrated with the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party groups.

“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 the government,” Senator Mike Lee told delegates. “Your government is targeting you, your government is spying on you, and your government is lying to you.”



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