As a disappointed Eyre supporter in the Republican primary for the Statehouse this summer, I have thought long and hard about the circumstances that led to Richard Eyre's primary defeat. Did the Republican elite defeat Eyre with their early endorsement of Leavitt? Should we punish Mike Leavitt and give the governorship to the Democrats because Bangerter and Garn came out early for him before the general election?
I have concluded Mike Leavitt beat Richard Eyre for one reason: Richard Eyre wanted to preach principles and prove points more than he wanted his party's nomination for governor. Put simply, Mike wanted it more than Richard.Eyre banked that his "politics as unusual" campaign would sway Republican voters. Eyre wanted "no contributions from political action committees or special interest groups, no large donations and no 30-second sound-bite radio ads, television ads and no fluff billboards." He declared he wanted "no polls to see what is popular to say and no `please everyone platitudes.' Rather, clear conservative positions on issues."
Eyre didn't want to win. He wanted to prove a point. And because I personally enjoy it when Eyre preaches and lectures, I'll be there whenever he talks about principles, joy, commitment, accountability, etc. But come November, I'm voting for an equally principled Republican for governor, the one who really wanted it: Mike Leavitt.
John C. Speer