Becky Edwards launches signature gathering campaignJan 13, 2022 11:24AM ● By Becky Ginos
Becky Edwards gets a signature from Kiera Beddas during a drive-up signature-gathering event in Draper, Thursday, Jan. 6. Courtesy photo
NORTH SALT LAKE—Becky Edwards has a bit of an uphill battle to unseat incumbent Mike Lee in the U.S. Senate but she’s optimistic that she has the support to do it. The former Utah House Representative started a signature campaign last Monday to ensure her name will be on the primary ballot.
“Historically in Utah the turnout for the primary is low,” said Chelsea Robarge Fife, senior director of communications for Edward’s campaign. “The past has shown that the Republican nominee who wins the primary will win in the final election. That means a small group will be electing the future senator.”
In the past, Utah Republican candidates were selected through the caucus system, however that changed when SB54 was passed by the legislature in 2014. That allows candidates to gather signatures to enter the primary election between the convention winner and those who get enough signatures.
“We have to get 28,000 signatures from registered Republicans,” Fife said. “Our plan is 32,000 because some will get thrown out. People might have already signed for somebody else or they’re not registered, etc. We anticipate by the end of the month we’ll have all the signatures.”
Volunteers for the campaign have been going door to door, hosting signing events and talking to neighbors. “It’s been a great experience,” said Edwards. “Since the roll out we’ve had literally hundreds of people reach out asking us to mail them a packet or they want to hold an event. There’s been a ton of enthusiasm.”
There has been no Republican opponent since Mike Lee first ran for reelection in 2016, she said. “This has been the first opportunity for voters to choose and they’re very excited about that.”
Edwards believes it’s important to teach young voters about the process. “Some of them will be turning 18 in 2022 and will be eligible to vote in the June primary,” she said. “Our focus is on making sure our young people are engaged so they realize ‘it’s not just my parents. I can do this too.’”
It helps them to see what the future looks like, Edwards said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to begin a pattern of civic engagement. It’s a great thrill to speak to young people.”
Voters can participate in signature gathering in a variety of ways, she said. “We’re always ADA compliant and follow CDC guidelines. We hold events at parks, etc. People get creative. One person had a pop up tent in her driveway with a heater and hot chocolate.”
Edwards said they’ll even bring the petition to people in their car. “A mother drove up with a dog and small child in the back. It made it accessible to her and she drove away knowing she had participated in democracy.”
If elected, Edwards wants to make a difference in the Senate. “I want my service to be productive and inclusive,” she said. “We're bringing it to people in a real way. We’re giving people a lot of optimism and hope for the future.”
Edwards will be holding signature gathering events Jan. 15 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the following locations:
725 S Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010
45 S 400 W, Centerville, UT 84014
133 S Main St, Farmington, UT 84025
For more information about Edwards’ campaign and getting involved visit beckyforutah.com.