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Reaction to Gov. Cox’s remarks at the GOP state convention in 2024



Salt Lake City, Utah – Following his speech at the Utah GOP state convention in 2024, which caused rifts within the Republican party, Governor Spencer Cox is now facing criticism.

Delegates booed Cox and made other unintelligent gestures when he started his speech, indicating that they didn’t think his activities this term were adequate.

Following the audience’s response, Cox discussed other GOP politicians who had faced jeers and some of them who went on to win primary races.

Listing his accomplishments for this term, Cox expressed his pride in the job he done during the most recent legislative session.

Among the bills on that list were ones pertaining to school choice, constitutional carry, pro-life legislation, and the biggest tax cut in Utah history.

“Maybe you hate that I sent troops to the border and have support from Gov. Abbott from Texas. Maybe you hate the 60 lawsuits that we’ve filed against President Biden administration. Maybe you hate that we stopped DEI and ESG and CRT,” Cox said.

He claimed that hatred was the true problem at hand.

“Maybe you just hate that I don’t hate enough,” Cox said.

Booing from the audience persisted as the governor spoke longer.

“What I love about real Utah Republicans is that you are architects, not arsonists. You love our state. You care about our neighbors. We disagree passionately but treat each other with respect. That is the true spirit of the Republican Party that I know and that I love,” Cox said near the end of his speech.

The Executive Committee of the Iron County Republican Party wrote to Cox on Thursday, requesting that he “rescind divisive, false, and inflammatory statements.”

Members of this committee expressed concern in the letter that unfavorable methods could escalate campaign shifts and foster greater disdain among delegates.

“While we do not approve of booing as an effective form of communication with our representatives, Spencer Cox’s response was no better, and as the governor, and as a Republican leader, Republican voters expect better leadership,” the letter stated.

The committee pointed out that Cox received 29% of the vote and stated that voting results might have been different if the speech had been more upbeat and cohesive.

“We call upon Governor Cox to disagree better, to rescind his divisive, false, and inflammatory remarks, and to apologize to the Utah Republican Party organization, the Republican voters of Utah, and the duly elected volunteer State Delegates who represent them on the local level,” the letter said.

Following the GOP state convention, the Salt Lake County Republican Party called his remarks “disheartening” in a Facebook post on Monday.

In closing, they congratulate Phil Lyman on his victory in the final round, which saw him collect 67.54% of the vote.

Yemi Arunsi, the chair of the Davis County GOP, wrote a letter on Facebook praising the elected delegates for their diligent volunteer effort and commitment to carrying out their civic duties in relation to that event.

“Despite efforts to deem them inconsequential, they remain integral to a system that fosters community engagement, meaningful dialogue, and above all, opportunity,” Arunsi said.

Arunsi acknowledges the advantages of the caucus/convention format.

“I firmly believe any lack of decorum on display last weekend was the exception, not the rule. While the system may not be perfect, it is upheld by citizens who are dedicated to improving the political landscape — and they deserve our appreciation.”

During the GOP state convention, Cox won 28.86% of the vote following the first round and 32.46% during the final round.


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