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Picture of Matt MacPherson

Matt MacPherson

Matt is the newly elected Representative for Utah House District 26 in the State Legislature.

Three weeks ago, I had the privilege to be sworn in as the Representative of House District 26.  I am full of emotion as I consider how best to represent our district, and the choices that will have to be made over the next several months as the interim and general sessions commence.  I cannot help but think about Quinn, as it is he who was voted into this seat by a majority of our district. 

Quinn Kotter was a man with whom you never needed to ask where he stood on an issue.  He spoke his mind quietly yet passionately, and direct from his heart.  He didn’t have secret ambitions, did not stab others in the back, and genuinely cared for his colleagues.  I don’t believe he had hatred in his heart for a single soul.

I was in attendance with the other 30-40 delegates when his sister, Karen, read his letter.  It was emotional, humble, and seeking forgiveness from the delegates who had helped elect him and the public that had voted for him and supported him.  He explained his feelings of hurt and despair, fueled primarily by a dishonest media that twisted his words and made him out to be a bigot full of hate.  He went into great details of a vote that most bothered him, of his deep regret and anguish, as he tried to placate the mob.  He asked for our forgiveness.  The crowd leapt to their feet in an ovation, many with tears brimming in their eyes.  We had voted for Quinn and still supported him, as he represented a good man working hard to better our State.

I am embarrassed by those who know Quinn and have read the Salt Lake Tribune story regarding his “fiery letter” and believed a single word of it.  Please reconsider your principles if you hold in higher regard the twisted words of a serially dishonest media shill over an honest, kind-hearted patriot like Quinn.

Now as I prepare for the committee meetings that will shape the legislative calendar and agenda in many areas over the next few months, I ask for your prayers, for your support, and for your patience as I find my place.  I have no doubt I will make mistakes.  I plan on being held accountable for them.  I know I will make some people angry at me, both constituents and fellow House members.  My duty is to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Utah, to discharge my duties with fidelity.  I will use all the faculties of which I possess to be faithful to this oath regardless of who I may offend.

Utah is at a crossroads in our politics.  In 2022, a long-term population report was published showing massive increases in population grown in our state.  Last year alone our state population grew by more than 60,000 people.  More than 60% of those came from migration – people moving here from other states.  While Utah still retains a majority of Republican members in the House and Senate, conservatism itself seems to be lessening as the years go by and not just in the legislature.  Our culture is also shifting with the voter demographics that have been coming in from the blue state exodus.  We have seen what happens when States allow conservative principles of small government get overtaken by large government programs.  Basic government services and living expenses skyrocket.  Food, education, housing, healthcare.  The list goes on and sounds very familiar in Utah today.

As republicans, we have been far too lax living in a solidly “Red” state and taking for granted the benefits of conservative principles that guided our state to solid financial ground, a good business environment and a great place to live and raise children.   It is up to each of us to champion the conservative principle of small government, living within our means, minimal government intervention into the economy and business, and a focus on high civic engagement and knowledge among the general public.  It is up to us to meet our new neighbors and show them why we believe in the Constitution, in conservatism, in free markets, in personal accountability and responsibility, and the rule of law. 

Conservative principles, I believe, are what lead to our great nation and Constitution.  These principles do not come automatically, they are not naturally occurring in government, else we would have seen many nations founded along these same lines since the dawn of time.  Now is the time to engage in your local politics, become acquainted with your representatives, attend caucus meetings next year, volunteer, take a constitution class, etc.  The road away from conservative principles in government leads nowhere good.  We know this.  Let us turn this ship a little more to the right by starting at home.

I will promise only to do my best and do what I can at the State House of Representatives and to try to put these words into action in every bill I read and for every vote I make.  Today is the day, now is the time.  Let us fight to prevent the culture from slipping further towards ideologies that have proven unsustainable elsewhere.

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