Please make a contribution to Phil's Campaign

Suspending the Signature Gathering

When voters have asked me why I’m gathering signatures, I often explain that it’s like running the option in a football game. Running the option is a dangerous play, because the defense doesn’t know where to concentrate their effort. It’s also a dangerous play for an offense if they don’t make the right decision in the middle of the play.

In my announcement to run for Governor in early January, I shared that I was planning to gather signatures to ensure a place on the primary ballot in June. In the announcement, I made it clear that the only reason I was gathering signatures was my concern that Spencer Cox and Deidre Henderson would pull some kind of stunt like they did in 2020.

Here is what I said:
The 2020 election was an eye-opening experience for me. Before the people of Utah could catch their breath and come to terms with the global lockdowns that were a response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Spencer Cox, who was the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Elections Officer of the state, had essentially appointed himself the leader of the Coronavirus Task Force.

One of the first orders of business was to cancel the neighborhood caucuses and reappoint the delegates of the party to serve another term. If delegates were unavailable to serve, party insiders chose their replacements.

The next order of business was to lock down the state and prevent in-person meetings. The personal connection between candidate and delegate that is the lifeblood of the caucus/convention system’s effectiveness was shut down through edicts issued by Spencer Cox. While his opponents were forced to quarantine, the leader of the Coronavirus Task Force made sure he was available for daily press conferences. Not surprisingly, Spencer Cox won the caucus convention that year.

For this reason, I will not take anything for granted. And I haven’t taken anything for granted. For weeks, I have had my enthusiastic team of volunteers build support for my campaign by connecting with delegates, attending events, and collecting signatures. With the Caucuses now behind us, it is clear that we didn’t see anything happen like in 2020, where there was widespread opportunity to use a pandemic to undermine the delegate selection process.

I have decided to suspend signature gathering at this point in my campaign because, to be honest, I don’t believe in the signature path, and I never have.  As I said from the beginning, my intent to gather signatures was a backup plan in case there was interference with the caucus.

I also said from the beginning that I can’t win this race without a strong and growing network of supporters. I’m grateful to my team, who has gathered the contact information of thousands of supporters. We will use these supporter lists to win this race. We will turn the signatures we’ve collected into votes for my candidacy. If you see my campaign asking for your information, it’s because we want your support – not because we want to undermine the caucus/convention system.

I have a busy schedule of delegate events in the works, and I look forward to meeting you and earning your vote.