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Rep. Phil Lyman promises to strengthen Republican values at Summit County campaign rally

Republican candidate Phil Lyman addresses supporters at a rally in Summit County May 18.
Grace Doerfler / KPCW
Republican candidate Phil Lyman addresses supporters at a rally in Summit County May 18.

Republican candidate Rep. Phil Lyman made a stop in Park City as part of his campaign for governor Saturday.

In the race to become the Republican party’s pick for Utah’s next governor, Lyman visited Park City for the “One Step Closer Road Rally & Tailgate Party,” hosted by right-wing organization Utah Patriots.

Around 50 supporters gathered at the Utah Film Studio on Saturday afternoon, May 18, after parading through Parleys Canyon and along Park City’s Main Street. Flags supporting Donald Trump waved from many of their cars, and the crowd wore a mix of Lyman and Trump campaign apparel.

Lyman currently serves in Utah’s House of Representatives, and he says his firmly right-wing approach will be a departure from Gov. Spencer Cox’s brand of conservatism.

“Do we have the ability to win this election? I will tell you, yes, we do,” he said. “And it's not so much because people know who Phil Lyman is… it’s because they know who Spencer Cox is.”

Speakers at the rally lambasted Cox for what they called concessions to the left, especially around issues like immigration policy, transgender inclusion and climate change.

Kish North, who’s part of the Utah Patriots, spoke before Lyman arrived.

“Who wants a governor that goes by a pronoun? Sorry, I don’t,” he said. “Who wants a governor whose policies have let in over 100,000 illegal people into our state?”

North and other attendees at the rally also named concerns about protecting Second Amendment rights, ensuring election integrity and centering states’ rights.

Scott Lewis lives in Midway. He said he and his wife came to the rally because they often feel like politicians don’t listen to what matters to their constituents.

“My concern is that both as a nation and as a state, we're ceding our personal responsibility and our personal liberty to people who think they're smarter than us,” he said. “And to me, that's what's really concerning and why I support Phil Lyman and his desire to return control to Utah, but also to return control to local cities and counties and municipalities, so that they can make decisions of what's best for their communities.”

And Park City resident Hillary Jessup said she respects Lyman’s transparency.

“It's really frustrating because we want the best for Park City, we want the best for Utah,” she said. “And if they don't give us the answers, how do we make good decisions? So, I think he’s very much willing to open the curtain to us.”

Lyman is running alongside lieutenant governor candidate Natalie Clawson. He was recently mandated to replace his running mate after his former pick was deemed ineligible because of state residency requirements.

He is known for organizing an illegal ATV ride in 2014 in protest of what he called federal overreach. A jury convicted him of misdemeanor illegal ATV use and conspiracy a year later, but Trump pardoned him in 2020.

The primary election is June 25.

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