Morgan Philpot, running for something, is starting to build his name recognition.---
At Saturday's Take Back Utah rally, Morgan Philpot was introduced to the crowd as a "candidate for governor," which is, of course, not true. Philpot is actually running for the 2nd Congressional District against Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah. But the fact that Philpot is not even that well-known among his core demographic — rural conservatives — highlights the challenges for anyone running against a well-funded, established incumbent.
However, while most people in the state were strapping themselves to anything solid to keep from blowing away this weekend, Philpot was taking solid strides to change that anonymity. Friday night, he spoke at the FreedomWorks "Take America Back" convention (as did Mike Lee, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate), which was piggy-backing on the Glenn Beck rally Saturday. Saturday, he spoke at the TBU rally, and he also had the most prominent presence of the candidates who set-up booths. Finally, today at noon, he will unveil his energy development plan at the Utah State Capitol.
Philpot also got a boost from CNN.com's Political Ticker, which profiled the 2nd Congressional District race as part of "100 Races" series. on Sunday. It was only a short blurb, but anything helps Philpot at this point.
As for the energy plan he will unveil, it will be interesting to see how much he can differentiate himself from Matheson, who already supports a lot of the proposed energy development plans. Nuclear power, maybe? Philpot does give a hint, though not much of one, in the news release announcing the press conference:
“From the beginning, Utah’s prosperity has been tied to our lands and the natural resources of this great state. But today there are out-of-state special interests making it ever more difficult for Utahns to responsibly use both state and federally controlled lands. Their efforts have cost our schools estimated billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. Any economic recovery plan for Utah must include opening up or lands for responsible development of our abundant natural resources.”