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Ridgway clarifies his comments

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Conservative GOP grassroots leader Mike Ridgway says comments he has made concerning a bill now pending before the Utah Legislature have been misinterpreted.

Ridgway says he does personally oppose a bill that would change certain political party reporting dates.

The bill, which GOP Gov. Mike Leavitt put on the call and was passed overwhelmingly Wednesday by the House, makes a simple date change in political party law. But the effect of that change is to allow a May 2002 state GOP convention to again vote on whether to close its primary elections. Without the date change the June 2002 GOP primary must be closed, following a closed-primary vote in last month's state Republican convention.

Ridgway says he doesn't fear that the May convention will overturn the closed-primary decision made by last month's convention, but he does oppose the bill because he believes primaries should be closed. The bill will be heard by the Senate next Monday.