Some candidates campaigning as 'real' Republicans


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SALT LAKE CITY -- Some prominent Utah Republicans are worried their party has been taken over by the right-wing 'Tea party' movement.

Her challenger, D.J. Schanz, says, "My slogan is Republican for real."

The two "for real" candidates will face off in the primary. Incumbent Edwards is seen as a "moderate."

"I am a conservative representative of this area, but with a thoughtful approach to the issues," she said.

Schanz is running as more conservative. His website says he belongs to or is and endorsed by groups working to oust incumbents.

"I'm not running under the banner of a group. I'm running under some principles that I hold dear," he said.

But those groups--sometimes overlapping with the "Tea Party Movement" and Club for Growth -- are credited with eliminating Sen. Bob Bennett last month. The influence of those groups is creating concern -- enough that dozens of prominent Republicans attended a meeting at Salt Lake's Alta Club. The group wants to save the Republican Party from the extreme right.

Kirk Jowers, with the Hinckley Institute of Politics, is one of the people who was there.

"That's the exact problem with the Republican Party right now, is this civil war of trying to shrink the tent, beyond any hope of being a governing party," Jowers said.

In the North Salt Lake race, Schanz says he's just offering an alternative to the status quo.

"I don't want to paint with a broad brush these type of terms. I want to say I am for the free market, for personal liberty and accountability, and for limiting government," he said.

"I think in some ways it's a battle over tone and approach as much as it is over the issues," Edwards said.

Jowers said, "If Republican for real only represents a small part of the population, does that open up the opportunity to the Democrats to take back some of these offices?"

A recent pew research center poll shows just 25 percent of Americans agree with the tea party movement, but in Utah, those who identify with the movement have gained influence -- just how much influence remains to be seen.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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Richard Piatt

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