Utah Republican Party plans to hold its own debates, Senator Mike Lee will be there

May 13, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: 5:56 pm
Utah republican debates...
Left: Becky Edwards. Center: Ally Isom. Right: Sen. Mike Lee. Photo courtesy Campaign of Becky Edwards, Campaign of Ally Isom, and Campaign of Sen. Mike Lee

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s Republican Party is planning to hold its own primary election debates for federal races, including the three-way GOP race for Senate.

Senator Mike Lee’s campaign says the senator will take the stage.

“Senator Lee will participate in the primary debate sanctioned by the Utah Republican Party,” Lee’s campaign told KSL NewsRadio in a text.

These debates will be separate from the ones being put on by the Utah Debate Commission (the Commission) after a week of back and forth, where Utah GOP Chair Carson Jorgensen urged candidates to hold off debating in the Commission debates arguing a republican primary debate should include input from the party.

Lee’s campaign did not say if he will participate in that one, slated for June 2nd.

Jorgensen told KSL NewsRadio on Friday they were close to settling on a date, time, and location.

“We’re going to try to do them before primary ballots go out, that’s a must,” Jorgensen said. “We are actively working with the campaigns to see which dates work for them so we can make sure everybody is there.”

The plan has critics

Some people have been critical of Jorgensen’s calls, arguing Utah’s Republican Party may be trying to shield candidates from participating in debates put on by the Commission.

“People are like, ‘oh, you’re trying to cover for Mike Lee, you’re trying to cover for Chris Stewart,” Jorgensen said. “I don’t cover for anybody. We actually want to see these people on the debate stage, and we want to make them feel comfortable to get on the debate stage.”

Jorgensen told KSL NewsRadio it is up to candidates to decide if they will participate in debates put on by the Commission. He said the planned Commission debates made some candidates wary over a lack of information and communication from the debate Commission.

Utah Republican debates: Who, what, when, where

Ally Isom and Becky Edwards have announced their participation in the Commission debates. KSL is working to confirm their participation in the GOP sponsored debates.

Jorgensen said a team is being put together to determine the date, time, and location of the GOP debates.

Reaction from the Utah Debate Commission

Utah Debate Commission Executive Director Erik Nielsen responded to the Republican Party’s plan to hold its own primary election debates.

“Again, we have a track record,” he said to KSL NewsRadio. “We have been producing debates since 2014. We have been producing primary debates since 2018. In 2018, we produced three debates – two of them were Republican and one was Democrat. In 2020, we produced five debates – four of them were Republican primaries and one of them as a Democrat primary. This year, it just happened to be they are all Republican. But nothing has changed in our mindset. We are producing independent, nonpartisan debates.”

Related stories


Today’s Top Stories


Utah female senators walk out abortion...
Curt Gresseth

Show hosts say Utah GOP discriminates against women candidates

Both hosts of KSL@Night say the Utah GOP discriminates against women candidates, and they back up their arguments with the numbers.
3 days ago
Utah Blue dogs...
Amanda Dickson

Meet them in the middle: Utah Blue Dogs, Republican Governance Group

Former Utah Representative Ben McAdams, and two other centrist Democrats elected to represent Utah, belonged to the Blue Dogs.
7 days ago
(House Speaker Brad Wilson speaking after the morning session finished on the last day of the 2022 ...
Lindsay Aerts

House Speaker Brad Wilson claims there is pornography in Utah schools

Utah's Speaker of the House, Brad Wilson, is claiming there is pornography in Utah school libraries.
8 days ago
Sen Lee debates formula...
Lindsay Aerts and Simone Seikaly

Sen. Lee will only participate in Utah GOP-run primary debates

Sen. Lee will participate in the Utah Republican primary debate on June 1, a day ahead of the debate scheduled by the independent commission.
9 days ago
Salt Lake City County Building...
Dan Bammes

Salt Lake City Council set to vote on medical protests

The Salt Lake City Council is trying to address concerns some citizens have voiced to the council about certain protests.
14 days ago
East High School students took part in a walkout to protest the overturning of Roe V. Wade.
Photo: ...
Lindsay Aerts

SLC students hold walkouts in response to Roe v. Wade

Student walkouts took place Thursday at three Salt Lake City high schools. The students were protesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
Utah Republican Party plans to hold its own debates, Senator Mike Lee will be there