Last week, Utah witnessed three developments that ranged from sad to intriguing to hopeful. We review how these events are important in our local politics.

State School Board incumbent Natalie Cline was trounced by her challenger, Amanda Bollinger, 63%-37%, in last week’s Salt Lake County Republican convention and will not be on the primary ballot. Already a controversial figure, Cline received national attention for implying in a social media post that a minor student athlete was transgender. Beyond the obvious fact that negative publicity usually hurts candidates, what does the convention result tell us?

Pignanelli: “Bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.”Shay Mitchell

A former advocate of party conventions now turned ferocious critic, I join the multitude of fellow citizens applauding this outcome. But more examination is required.

Bollinger is a good candidate, an important detail. (She’s a former instructor at my wonderful alma mater, Cottonwood High School, an indicator of her qualities.) Had Bollinger been mediocre, a different result was possible.

Our culture has many historical legacies which make Utah a wonderful place. This includes antipathy toward bullying. Thus, the recent convention illustrated compassionate conservatives who wholly reject hate and vitriol from elected officials, especially when directed toward an innocent child.

Cline offered a tepid apology within the first moments of controversy. Then she doubled down on her opinions and blamed others for the backlash. Utahns will forgive a mistake if there is a sincere request and an attitude of contrition, which Cline never exuded.

It’s rare for me to compliment the actions of political party delegates, but I hereby do so.

Webb: Cline’s decisive defeat sends an important message that Utahns reject extremism, and especially harassment of innocent young people. It is actually the best end possible for this saga, with Cline being summarily dumped by Republican convention delegates — those who would be most expected to support her. She can’t claim the “elites” or the “establishment” took her down.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson passed away on April 11. What lessons can we learn from his remarkable legacy?

Pignanelli: Many in my generation were learning of politics as Wilson was gaining prominence in City Hall. We grew up with Wilson as a mentor of how leadership is provided. Republicans, Democrats and independents enjoyed his friendly demeanor of never exhibiting personal animosity when expressing disagreement. In my early days on the speech stump, he would occasionally offer firm but needed advice that I still treasure. My condolences to the family with the hope that we preserve his legacy in actions and deeds.

Webb: Ted Wilson is absolutely one of my favorite people ever. He was a terrific politician — charming, handsome, genuine and a friend to all. He never let any of that go to his head, although he was kept appropriately humble by losing major races to Republicans.

Those with long memories might recall that Ted was actually an original founder of this column. We wrote it together starting in 2001 until he got too busy and Frank took over for him in 2004. He was a pleasure to work with. I also partnered with Ted and the Exoro Group in some political consulting work a number of years ago.

Despite being congenial and caring, Ted could be tough and decisive. I once saw him nearly take the head off a guy who, in the heat of a political disagreement, questioned his personal integrity. When I was working in the governor’s office, I was quoted saying disparaging things about the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, which I thought was sabotaging our public lands initiative. Ted, an ardent conservationist, was dispatched to set me straight and we had a very spirited discussion. And we emerged as friends.

Ted’s work inspiring thousands of young college students is perhaps his greatest and longest-lasting legacy.

Sen. Mike Lee conducted interviews with some Senate candidates, apparently to assess whether they are worthy of support. Would Lee’s endorsement, or that of any high-profile Republican, help a contender in the upcoming state convention?

Pignanelli: Endorsements can matter during the convention cycle. Celeste Maloy garnered the support of fellow candidates (Jordan Hess), local rural leaders and her predecessor (Chris Stewart), which delivered the convention. Marlo Oaks played a significant role helping John Curtis during his last congressional run. Conversely, withholding endorsements can also define relationships (i.e. Mitt Romney not endorsing Lee two years ago).

Politicos will be watching the equivalent drama of a junior high school cafeteria play at the state convention to learn who can sit at the popular table.

Webb: A number of Senate candidates do seem to be auditioning for Lee’s favor. He has been popular among state convention delegates in the past, so his endorsement could be helpful. But it wouldn’t be smart for Lee to endorse. There are so many solid conservatives dividing the delegate vote that he may not be able to play kingmaker. Also, enough candidates have successfully gathered signatures that the convention won’t determine who appears on the primary election ballot.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a former journalist and a semi-retired small farmer and political consultant. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser who served as a Democrat in the Utah state Legislature. Email: frankp@xmission.com.