KSL at Night: Previewing the Utah Republican Convention

Apr 18, 2023, 8:30 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to a crowd at Adventure Outdoors gun store, Thursday, March...

FILE - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to a crowd at Adventure Outdoors gun store, Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Smyrna, Ga. DeSantis has advanced elements of his aggressive conservative agenda though the use of executive power, drawing on appointees, state boards and the state Constitution as he builds toward an expected presidential candidacy. Gov. DeSantis will be the keynote speaker at the Utah Republican Convention on Saturday at Utah Valley University. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Republican Convention is scheduled for Saturday at Utah Valley University in Orem.

Chair of the Utah GOP Carson Jorgensen joined KSL at Night with hosts Leah Murray and Greg Skordas to preview the convention. They also touch on the speech that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will give and the next-in-line for the GOP Chair Robert Axson.

Murray begins the conversation by asking, “But what can we expect at your convention?” Is anything exciting really going to happen? Is there anything we should be paying attention to?”

“We’re super excited that Governor DeSantis is going to be joining us this weekend,” Jorgensen said. “It should be a great party. We’re fixing to have a good time.”

However, not everyone is thrilled to have Gov. DeSantis coming to the convention. Murray says there have been pamphlets handed out on the UVU campus.

“Is there a response to it?” she asked. “Or you just kind of not notice it?” 

“We kind of try to overlook it,” Jorgensen said. “I mean, we plan for every contingency we need to. But just try to overlook it and not detract from the day.”

DeSantis to the Utah Republican Convention, how it happened

Skordas asked, “How did you get him?”

“I set my mind on this about seven months ago,” Jorgensen said. “And I said, ‘You know what, I’m either going to bring Ron DeSantis or Donald Trump, one of the biggest things I can find.”

Ultimately, Jorgensen decided to pursue DeSantis as he is the current governor of Florida.

Jorgensen said he started making phone calls, calling in favors and doing everything in his power to get him here.

“And low and behold, it all worked out,” he said.

Jorgensen was asked what DeSantis will speak on.

“I think it will be a surprise for the most part,” he said. 

However, Jorgensen says one of the areas DeSantis may touch on is his record in Florida.

Jorgensen says DeSantis’ appearance is about him being the governor of Florida, not a potential presidential candidate for 2024.

“But at the end of it all,” he said. “I’ve really made this clear that right now this is about him as being Governor DeSantis. That had nothing to with the presidential election, or we would have made it available to other candidates as well because we want to be as straight and fair for the general public and for those presidential candidates as we can.”

During the convention, there will be a vote of acclamation to sustain the new GOP chair, Robert Axson, who will take over the duties as GOP chair at the conclusion of the convention.


KSL at Night can be heard most weeknights from 7 to 9 p.m.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

a woman on her phone...

Lindsay Aerts, KSL TV

Utah Legislature approves candidate signature gathering change

A shift is coming for candidates who have to gather signatures to get on the ballot, an app allowing them to verify a voter's eligibility in real-time.

25 minutes ago

Members of the Palestinian civil defense extinguish a fire in a building in the east of Rafah, the ...

Richard Roth and Tara John, CNN

US proposes a ‘temporary ceasefire’ in Gaza in draft UN resolution

The United States has proposed a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas

8 hours ago

Natural Resources...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Utah Division of Natural Resources wants to combine police agencies

The Utah Division of Natural Resources is seeking to combine its four law enforcements agencies into one unit.

9 hours ago

Utah State School Board Member Natalie Cline announced over Facebook Monday that she is running for...

Derrick Jones

Natalie Cline announces run for reelection after being asked to resign

The news comes just days after a special board meeting where the school board censured Cline and asked her to resign over a controversial social media.

19 hours ago

Celeste Maloy, then-candidate for Utah's 2nd Congressional District, at a campaign event in 2023. N...

Aimee Cobabe

Report: Utah elected more women in 2023 but still lags U.S. average

Annual research from the Utah Women and Leadership Project shows Utahns elected more women to represent them.

23 hours ago

FILE: Senate Minority Leader Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, speaks at a Senate Revenue and Taxati...

Eric Cabrera

Bill would authorize Medicaid to cover Indigenous healing services in Utah

A bill sponsored by the Senate minority leader authorizes the state to apply for a Medicaid waiver.

24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

KSL at Night: Previewing the Utah Republican Convention