GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Eyre says he's an "insider" and an "outsider" in Utah Republican politics.
When he started his campaign last year, Eyre took some pleasure in saying that he wasn't a GOP "insider."Now, Eyre, who leads among Republicans in recent Deseret News/KSL-TV polls, says he really is an insider among party faithfuls - "he's chaired the party's policy and issues committee for years" - and among Utah business people.
But Eyre says he remains an "outsider" among the "establishment" of the current administration of GOP Gov. Norm Bangerter and the lobbyists and other power brokers who now control much of state government.
Bangerter has not endorsed any gubernatorial candidate. But he is close friends with Republican Mike Leavitt, who seeks his office. Bangerter even spoke at a Leavitt fund raiser in Palm Springs, Calif., earlier this year.
Eyre believes one reason he's ahead in the polls is his "new, previously non-political people" that are getting involved in his campaign. Eyre, who refuses to accept political action committee money, estimates that more than 60 percent of donations to his campaign come from people who have never made a political donation before.