In a move that didn’t surprise most political observers, yet defied the general rules of party politics, Republican Gov. Olene Walker lost her party’s nomination at their convention on May 8.

Walker was the state’s Lieutenant Governor until November when Gov. Mike Leavitt resigned to become the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The early betting was that the 73-year old Walker would serve as a caretaker, but after a couple of months as Governor, she decided to seek a term in her own right. Her decision, though, put her months behind seven other candidates—some of whom had been running for over a year and well before President Bush tapped Leavitt for EPA—in terms of organization and fundraising.

Utah Republicans use a convention system to nominate their candidates. In the event no candidate takes 60 percent of the delegate vote, the top two move on to a primary. And, the only way to get on the primary ballot is to go through the convention.

At Saturday’s event, eight candidates vied for one of the two primary ballot spots. The

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