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.

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KSL at Night: Previewing the Utah Republican Convention