It's clear from the start that the attacks and mudslinging in the CD2 race have primarily focused on one candidate: Greg Hughes. This isn't surprising for people who know Greg Hughes. He runs towards a fight and has the scars to prove it. What is surprising is the vitriol and how stretched and twisted the attacks are. But once you learn their origin, it becomes clear who is doing the attacking and why. A superficial look into these attacks proves that Greg Hughes is by far the best candidate.
China - This is the strangest and most convoluted attack I've ever seen. The attack claims that somehow Greg Hughes is a Chinese agent. The reality is that Greg Hughes is trying to take the trade war to them and support Utah mining families. Trump was aggressive in trying to close the trade deficit with China, and Hughes was as well. Utah has the cleanest burning coal in the world. It's low sulfur, so there's no acid rain. Today, trade with China is, in large part, a one-way street benefiting China way more than the American family. So the America First movement is taking the trade war to China, with Hughes at the forefront. Greg Hughes is the leader of Utah's America First movement, going above and beyond to take on the Chinese interests flooding American markets. People attacking Hughes are supporting trade deficits with China and destroying Utah's coal industry.
UTA - This one is interesting. People will attack Greg Hughes citing UTA. When asked further, they will either make some dumb accusation of Hughes making money or link to a leftist hit piece in the Salt Fake Tribune that buries any exoneration in the details of the article. The reality is in stark contrast to what the leftist hate mongers will try to portray. The DOJ did target Hughes' circle after finding themselves empty-handed. The corrupt DOJ had targeted Phil Lyman, and when Hughes stood with him, they took note. When the DOJ attacked a close Hughes friend, Hughes didn't back down. Eventually, a federal judge threw out the DOJ's bogus case and made the government pay his lawyer fees. The whole thing was a political hit job by the deep state. Hughes joined the UTA board to prevent out-of-control spending, and when he completed a major project scheduled for 5 years in less than 3, he saved the taxpayers millions. Bureaucrats hate it when that happens. Hughes's record on UTA is awesome, and only spewing hate from leftist shills would say otherwise. People attacking Hughes on this are pushing endless bureaucracy and the deep state corruption of the DOJ.
Zip codes - Utah knows who stood with them. When the federal government attacked rural Utah, Hughes showed up and took every measure possible to support them. When Spencer Cox tried shutting down the state, Hughes was the first to show up in full force to oppose the tyrannical measures, being the only candidate at the time to come to the Utah Revival event hosted by Eric Moutsos in Iron County. Utah's conservative leaders know who has the deepest roots and best track record in the state of fighting for them. Victor Iverson, Phil Lyman, Celeste Meyers, Paul Cozzens, and Leland Pollack, just to name a few, are ringing endorsements from Utah's leading freedom fighters.
Inland port - The most outrageous hatchet job from an Anti-Mormon Hate group known as the Salt Lake Tribune. There's a right way and a wrong way to do the inland port. Hughes wanted to make sure it was done the right way to benefit economic growth in rural Utah and alleviate congestion along the Wasatch Front. Seeing the benefit for rural Utah and how it could go wrong, Hughes took action. When joining the board, an arcane rule was set up, which is no longer in place, about owning property within a 5-mile radius of the Inland Port. Hughes signed up, but upon further examination, he found that Google Maps wasn't entirely accurate, and one of his properties was within the 5-mile radius. Hughes was the one who pointed this out and resigned. That didn't stop the Salt Fake Tribune, as they do with all conservatives, from trying to do a hit piece on it.
Voting record - This is one of the most obvious and dumb attacks. In 2020, some tacky opposition research was put out and distributed by one of the campaigns to attack Greg Hughes. Hughes was in House leadership, which took him out for a lot of votes. The opposition research being pushed created a laundry list of attacks on this bill or that bill. Closer examination determined the claims to either be false or taken out of context to skew the record. Why would someone go out of their way to skew the record this much? Because they don't have and won't take definitive positions on the subject, they just kick up dust in an effort to distract from themselves. Hughes was and is clearly the most conservative choice, and the opposition wants to hide that.
Libertas report card - One politico that attacked Hughes in 2020 recently pointed out that Hughes had a 54% rating by the Libertas Institute. That's awesome because that's about how much I agree with the Libertas Institute. They like to market themselves as some sort of conservative organization, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Recently, they had an event with JP Sears. I commented that it was deceptive given that they were co-opting the celebrity of a Trump supporter who doesn't support their extreme positions on bail reform and capital punishment. They deleted the post and reposted it. The Libertas Institute likes to make waves with different groups, and they target conservatives with how much they oppose regulations and inhibitive legislation. What is less well-advertised is the Libertas Institute's positions on bail reform. The Libertas Institute advocates for the most extreme bail reform in the country. Bail reform we have seen in Utah and across the country lets violent and dangerous criminals out to continue victimization of innocent people. One example brought up on the State House floor was a child rapist that was let out and continued to rape the same children. The Libertas Institute advocates for abolishing the death penalty, denying justice for victims of heinous crimes, and creating a sliding scale of justice, making Utah less safe. So yeah, having a very high score with them is very much a bad thing in my book.
Gun rights - A strange attack came from an anti-conservative extremist who only ever attacks conservatives in Utah. Saying Hughes' efforts to get constitutional carry didn't go far enough. His main theme was the law stating it takes two actions to fire, such as chambering a round in an automatic pistol or pulling the hammer back on a revolver. Double actions do this in one movement. Hughes is the most pro-2A candidate in Utah's history. He pushed constitutional carry, and when Governor Herbert vetoed it, he fought to override the veto.
SB 54 - The Romney-funded group 'Count My Vote' was an effort to destroy entirely Utah's caucus system. SB 54 was a compromise made in bad faith. Hughes is the most pro-caucus candidate in the state and has only used the caucus system to obtain ballot access. From Phil Wright, leader of 'Keep My Voice': "In 2016, when I was Vice Chair of the Utah GOP, Greg Hughes tried to broker a deal with Herbert to repeal SB 54. I was working with him, but Herbert refused to budge. Greg is a great guy and friend of the caucus." People attacking Hughes on this are actually attacking the caucus system and making efforts to prevent Hughes from keeping the caucus system in place.
Donors - Hughes is the most ferocious fighter in the state. People try to associate him with anyone that's ever donated to him. The reality is that Hughes steps up and takes action regardless of who donates to him and whatever the consequences may be. For example, Kem Gardner donated to lots of candidates, including Hughes. Hughes was unfazed by pressure to stop supporting Trump. When Ben McAdams voted for impeachment, Hughes showed up outside his office with a bullhorn, leading a protest. Kem Gardner completely abandoned him, but Hughes didn't care. He relentlessly continued to support President Trump.
The endless muckraking and constant attacks are what would be expected of the most battle-hardened conservative in the state. They instantiate more than anything why Greg Hughes and why now. The attacks consistently come from those who attack conservatives the most in this state. If Hughes wasn't being attacked by these people for these reasons, there would be reason to be concerned.