The United Utah Party nominated Tim Zeidner as its new candidate for the Third Congressional District election in November.
The party held a special convention on Tuesday night after the previous candidate, Melanie McCoard, dropped out of the race.
Zeidner said he was willing to step up as a candidate because it is something he believes in.
“This party is sensible and the others out there aren’t,” Zeidner said.
He is excited and nervous to take on a new challenge. Zeidner said he is a reluctant candidate because his competitors are just as qualified for the position and he is very busy as the father of five and a director of research at the Missionary Training Center.
“I hope that we are able to get enough attention for the party and yield some influence,” Zeidner said.
While he believes his chances of winning the general election are slim, Zeidner is hopeful that the race will bring more awareness to the party.
Nils Bergeson, executive director for United Utah, said the night was a success. He believes it showed the growth of the party because Zeidner was one of three candidates who ran for the nomination.
“It was the first time we’ve ever had a competitive race,” Bergeson said.
The party was originally started in 2017 and is still in the early stages of development. A competitive nominating process marked a historic moment for the party.
“The main goal is to help voters know they have another option,” Bergeson said. “We’re small, we’re new, but what we stand for resonates with people.”
United Utah was created in response to the extremism found in the current political parties. Bergeson said United Utah’s mission is to help Utahns vote their conscience rather than simply dividing along traditional political party lines.
“Good government is more important than politics,” Bergeson said.
At the convention, Party Chair Richard Davis, said “There is momentum on our side. We went from 1 to 18 candidates within this last year.”
In a promotional video shown at the convention, former candidate McCoard encouraged the members of the party not to surrender. She said the Democratic and Republican parties are far too extreme and the current system swings back and forth from extreme left to extreme right.
“The swing has to stop,” McCoard said. “The real enemies are apathy and discouragement.”
McCoard said she hopes that all the delegates of United Utah at one time put their names down as candidates. She said she is passionately in favor of everything United Utah stands for.
Zeidner looks forward to the opportunity to run as a candidate for the general election in November.