Utah, home of conservative Trump critics, hosts GOP meeting

Salt Lake City – A deep-red state that’s home to some of Donald Trump’s most vocal conservative critics welcomed members of the Republican National Committee on Wednesday for a meeting in which party officials are expected to solidify the former president’s status as the GOP standard-bearer ahead of the midterm elections.

Utah – home to U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney, co-founders of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project and 2016 presidential candidate Evan McMullin – is the backdrop for discussions over issues that are important to Trump, including participation in presidential debates and a resolution censuring the two Republicans on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection.

There are few overwhelmingly Republican states where Trump’s demeanor clashes with the political culture like it does in Utah, a conservative bastion that prides itself on maintaining political civility in polarizing times.

The state has mostly bucked leftward political shifts that have swept neighboring Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. Republicans, who control the governor’s mansion and the statehouse, say the state’s low unemployment and rapid economic growth provide a model for the benefits of conservative governance and mannerly political discourse.

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