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Welch, Ioannides galvanize Republican conventioneers ahead of Summit County Council runs

Summit County Republican Party

The candidates are looking to reach out to Dems and purple Utah's bluest county.

Summit County Republicans convened April 2 at Ecker Hill Middle School to hear from local, state and national candidates.

Summit County is solidly blue, so state and national candidates outnumbered those running for local office.

There are only two: Hoytsville’s Tory Welch is running for Summit County Council seat A and Wanship’s Ari Ioannides for council seat C.

Welch moved to Hoytsville in 2013 and founded a construction company there four years later.
Tory Welch
Welch moved to Hoytsville in 2013 and founded a construction company there four years later.

Welch, a businessman and state committee representative for county Republicans, emphasized preserving and improving the quality of life in Summit County. He faces incumbent Democrat Roger Armstrong.

Welch implored county Republicans to reach out to their Democratic neighbors, “turn off the news” and have face-to-face conversations.

“They care about the same things that we care about at a fundamental level. They want a good, safe community where they can raise their family and be reasonably free to pursue their happiness. We all want that,” he said. “How we get there, we've got some differences. But that's where I come in—that's my job.”

Welch said Summit County residents likely have more in common than not, regardless of party affiliation.

“If they are totally captured by the woke mind virus, then I'm probably not going to get their vote, and that's OK,” he told convention-goers.

Ioannides, the treasurer for North Summit Fire District, emphasized the need to put a Republican voice on the all-Democrat council.

Voters may also know Ioannides for his work on the Park City Institute's summer concert series.
Deborah Dekoff
Ari Ioannides
Voters may also know Ioannides for his work on the Park City Institute's summer concert series.

“I went to the Democratic convention last week, not because I'm a ‘RINO’ [Republican In Name Only], but because I wanted to see what they were talking about,” he said. “They stood up on stage, and were bragging about how there wasn't one Republican elected official in our county.”

He was referring to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brian King, who said he was happy to be speaking to the bluest county in the state March 26 and who similarly criticized one-party rule.

Ioannides sees one-party rule in Summit County and said it disenfranchises local Republicans. He expressed support for districted council seats, rather than all at-large.

“How many people feel like it's time for a North Summit county council seat? How does that sound? How many people feel like there should be a South Summit county council seat? How many people feel like they can have one here in the Snyderville Basin and Park City, and two at-large?” he said to applause.

Ioannides will face either housing advocate Megan McKenna or Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Thomas Cooke.

A primary vote June 25 will decide which Democrat advances to the general election Nov. 5.

The rest of the over two-hour Republican convention was filled with speeches from state and national candidates. At its peak, the crowd was double what county Democrats had at almost 200.

State delegates had already been chosen, and Welch and Ioannides both run unopposed within their party. So there were no votes April 2.

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