Earlier this year, I was elected to the position of voting precinct secretary/treasurer for my local Republican Party. I have worked and volunteered for Republican candidates over the years, but this was the first time I was elected to a party position.

I have considered myself a Republican from the earliest time I can remember knowing about the existence of political parties. In 1976, when I was in fourth grade, I supported Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter when my class voted on who we wanted as President. (Ford won in my class.)

I regret I was only 17 in November 1984, so I didn’t have a chance to vote to re-elect Ronald Reagan. In 1988 and 1992, I voted for George Bush. In 1996, I voted for Bob Dole. In 2000 and 2004, I voted for George W. Bush. In 2008, I voted for John McCain. In 2012, I voted for Mitt Romney.

None of those candidates perfectly aligned with my political views. All of them were flawed men, who made mistakes I wish they hadn’t made, did things I wish they hadn’t done, and said things I wish they hadn’t said. As someone who is generally conservative in outlook, I found most of them were not conservative enough for my taste. However, all those candidates were clearly qualified by experience and temperament to become President of the United States of America.

The Republican Party has now officially picked Donald Trump as its nominee.

Therefore, I have sent the following email to my voting precinct chair, cc-ing the chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer of the Utah County Republican Party:

Dear Mike,

I was very pleased when you nominated me for the position of Secretary/Treasurer in the Orem 21 precinct, and I was glad to be elected by the caucus members. It has given me a chance to serve the party I have been loyal to all my life.

However, the Bylaws of the Utah County Republican Party specify that “All elected and appointed Party officers, including … all Voting Precinct Chairs, Vice-Chairs, Secretaries, Treasurers, and Committee Members…, upon assuming office, agree to: … [p]ublicly support only Republican candidates for partisan public office.”

Given that the Republican candidate for President is now officially Donald Trump, I find that I can no longer abide by that agreement. By nominating him, the Republican Party has chosen to take the wrong path, and I refuse to follow. I will be publicly supporting a presidential candidate of another party.

Therefore, I hereby resign the post of Voting Precinct Secretary/Treasurer for the Orem 21 precinct.

Eric Stone

For now, I have decided not to change my party affiliation on my voter registration, because I still think the state Republican Party is doing good things at the state level, and for the most part our Republican Congressional delegation is doing good things at the national level. However, if “Trumpism” spreads within Utah Republicans, then I will change my affiliation.

My Republican Party was a party that believed people should be treated as individuals, rather than ethnic blocs. But that’s not Trump’s Republican Party.

My Republican Party was a party that believed that a candidate’s character mattered. But that’s not Trump’s Republican Party.

My Republican Party was a party that believed in free trade. But that’s not Trump’s Republican Party.

My Republican Party was a party that believed in free speech and a free press. But that’s not Trump’s Republican Party.

Some of you may say I was naive. And I probably was. I thought most other Republicans thought as I did, that they held their political positions for the same rational reasons I did.  Trump’s successful campaign has proven I was wrong about that.

So, which presidential candidate of another party do I plan to support?

I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. She is a prime example of the sort of crony corruption that is dragging our country down.

Right now, I’m leaning toward Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee. On ISideWith.com, he is the closest candidate to my personal political beliefs on the issues. As a two-term governor of New Mexico, he seems to have sufficient experience. He has his flaws, but I would not feel ashamed of myself if I vote for him. If you do not feel that you can support either Trump or Clinton, I suggest you look into Johnson.

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