Former Utah House President Greg Hughes attended a Christmas party hosted by a right-wing militia


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Former Utah House President Greg Hughes was the most requested speaker at the event.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Former Speaker of the House Greg Hughes (right) was a guest speaker at a Christmas party sponsored by the right-wing militia group Utah Patriots. A handful of other Republicans from Utah also attended the event.

In early December, the right-wing Utah Patriots militia sparked some controversy with a “Kyle Rittenhouse Appreciation” rally in downtown Salt Lake City in conjunction with the Proud Boys.

Last week, the organization hosted their Christmas party in Riverton, featuring a gun-wielding Santa Claus who also sported a “Come on Brandon” hat, plenty of guns and a canned food drive. A handful of prominent Republican politicians were also in attendance.

Former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes joined Alena Ericksen, a GOP nomination contestant in Utah’s 1st Congressional District, and Jason Preston, a Republican candidate in the 3rd District. Also in attendance was Representative Phil Lyman, R-Blanding.

As the Salt Lake Tribune reported in November, Ericksen is suing Gov. Spencer Cox, Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, with several other government officials claiming coronavirus restrictions violated his constitutional rights. The two lawsuits claim nearly $ 1.5 billion in damages.

Hughes, the most requested speaker at the event, says he attended because of his good relationship with the organization.

“I went to DC with them when I spoke at one of Trump’s many rallies on December 12, 2020. They were great. There were people there to commit violence, and this group protected me and others from Utah, ”Hughes said.

Protesting President Joe Biden’s electoral victory last December, Hughes spoke at several events in Washington.

During these events, Trump supporters, including the Proud Boys, clashed with the Antifa counter-protesters. At least four people were stabbed and 23 arrested amid the chaos.

“It was a more dangerous atmosphere than I thought. I was glad they were there, ”said Hughes.

Ericksen and Preston could not be reached for comment.

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