One of the questions candidates get asked most often when they lose a race is “What’s next?” Becky Edwards, former Utah House member and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2022 and the 2nd Congressional District earlier this year, has an answer.

Edwards announced Tuesday that she is launching the Governing Group PAC. According to a press release, the new political action committee is “committed to electing leaders within the state of Utah who focus on pragmatic solutions rather than partisan conflict, with the goal of transforming the state’s political dynamics.” The PAC will support Republican and unaffiliated candidates, with a particular focus on supporting women.

The initial fundraising goal is $50,000, but “that is just the start,” says Edwards. “I know people are hungry for this — they’re willing to put in dollars and efforts to see candidates and leaders like this,” she said, “and we’re going to see change.”

“We’re going to see candidates who have a track record of being good leaders in their communities, of being willing to listen to their neighbors,” she said, as she described meeting people all over the state who are “already good at” leading and listening. “Those are the kind of people we want to be in office, and those are the kind we are looking for.”

Edwards said, “My dedication to a better future for all Utahns is stronger than ever, and in response to increasing political divisiveness, the Governing Group PAC will champion civil discourse and effective problem-solving over partisan standoffs. We’re building a movement for principled leadership and impactful legislation.”

Becky Edwards speaks during an interview at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News

Team Becky

One of the attributes that makes the Governing Group unique, she says, is that it brings the power of “Team Becky” to the candidates it will eventually support. “It’s not just dollars,” she said, but campaign mentoring, and access to experienced volunteers who are practiced at gathering signatures, making phones calls, pounding yard signs and talking to their neighbors.

Edwards envisions the mentoring provided by the Governing Group will look different for each candidate. Some may need soup-to-nuts help with every aspect. Some may have specific questions about handling a particularly thorny issue in their communities. Some may need advice and help with fundraising, an area Edwards feels is a personal strength.

During the recent Republican special election primary race, Edwards raised more than half a million dollars, with more than 60% coming from women, which is more than double the typical percentage. She feels that many women in Utah are not only eager and ready to jump in, but they already have. The Governing Group will be there to support them in taking the next step: running for office.

Edwards will be leading the board in what she describes as a coaching role, similar to the one her father-in-law, the late LaVell Edwards, played as the BYU football coach. She said that even though LaVell Edwards had been a player, he had always felt that the greatest impact he had was as a coach, because of his ability to impact many people.

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Her board will be actively engaged in vetting and mentoring candidates. There will be an interviewing process to vet potential candidates, including incumbents. She anticipates the Governing Group will be looking for candidates to support, will be asking for recommendations from local communities and will also field applications from individuals.

“I want to see Utah become the best state in the nation for politics,” she told the Deseret News, “just like we are the best state for business.” She added that she wants to see “the way we politic here” become a model for the rest of the nation.

For the latest updates on the Governing Group, including information on endorsed candidates and ways to get involved, follow their social media channels, @GoverningGroup. Additional details and opportunities can be found at GoverningGroup.com.

Holly Richardson is the editor of Utah Policy

Becky Edwards, facing, speaks during an interview with Deseret News reporter Holly Richardson at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News
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