Thomas Wright, vice chairman of the Western Region for the Republican National Committee, having been re-elected for a second term, is a man who likes a cheeseburger over a hamburger and is very specific to it being Swiss cheese. He’s also one of the few interviewed for Candidates.vote who likes pickles on the cheeseburger attributing it to the “crunch and texture”.
Wright graduated from the University of Utah with a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in both Russian and marketing. And right now he’s a very proud Republican who is not afraid to talk about his two years of living in the Ukraine and his first visit recently to Russia. Wright took time out of his schedule and spoke with Clark H. Caras of Candidates.vote in a Q & A format.
Candidates.vote – So let’s get the elephant out of the room, every pun intended. There is a great deal of chatter about you running for Governor of the State of Utah. What do you have to say about that kind of talk?
Vice chairman Wright – Right now my first responsibility is in my position with the RNC to help get the ground game in 17 states and territories ready for the 2020 election. The talk is flattering and my father (Bob), who ran for governor, taught me to be bold. When he lost his race I was more proud than disappointed. Right now I’m busy with my real estate business and the RNC.
Candidates.vote – You served as Utah State Republican Chairman from 2011 to 2013. And you’re credited with the civility you promoted in the party and for bringing many issues to the table.
Vice chairman Wright – I learned a long time ago one person can make a difference. And civility, I guess a lack of it is what you could say; is what first got me active in politics. I had an issue I wanted to talk to a legislator about and he blew me off!
And it was that incident fired me up to step up and get involved. And what I’ve learned since then is the world is run by the people who show up. Most of what I’ve done is just because I showed up. My wish is I could make everyone realize one person can make a dramatic impact in their home, neighborhood, nation and the world. I wish more people knew that.
Candidates.vote – So you’re one Republican who is willing to admit to speaking Russian as well as traveling there recently and living for two years in the former Soviet Republic of the Ukraine.
Vice Chairman Wright – Yes, I am. The two years were two very incredible years I spent there for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The Ukraine and Russia are both full of very incredible people. People who were poorly served and still are by leaders who didn’t, and very often still, don’t tell the truth.
Candidates.vote – What book, or books, might we find the RNC vice chair reading right now?
Vice chairman Wright – Right now I’m reading something by Tolstoy. I like the Russian authors, especially some of their lesser known writings. This one is, “The Forged Coupon”. I’m also reading“11/22/63”, by Stephen King. It’s great and he’s a great writer. This is about someone finding a worm hole and time traveling back to prevent JFK’s assassination.
Candidates.vote – What’s the last movie or television program you enjoyed?
Vice Chairman Wright – “The War”, it’s on Netflix and it is a series that documents how World War II affected the families and shows the gravity of their loss. The bravery in the Pacific and Northern Africa was amazing. When you think of the peril we faced! It’s so important for our history to be shown and remind us to never see sacrifice like that again.
Candidates.vote – Who would you say your hero or heroes might be?
Vice chairman Wright – My father. He was a good and very gentle man. A trial attorney who always taught us to be pro-active. I strive in my life to be like him. My sister must have caught on too because she’s the National Committee Woman from here with the RNC. I think we’re the only brother and sister team serving.
Candidates.vote – What advice do you have for people who might be just getting involved in politics, or even those who have been for a while?
Vice chairman Wright – Listen to someone who disagrees with you. We can all listen and be civil and we can all do better. And put the social media down for a minute and find an issue and get involved with it, learn about it, and then go out and support it.
Since 2008, Wright has been president of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty. His team consists of 200 sales associates in 13 offices statewide as well as a staff of 50 in places such as Lake Tahoe, Reno, Park City and St. George and a new office in Heber City. More information can be found at sothebysrealty.com.