GOVERNMENT

Utah Democrats will back an independent Evan McMullin, John Curtis facing primary challenger

Apr 23, 2022, 5:11 PM | Updated: 5:29 pm
Sen. Mike Lee will go to a primary election, but face no Democrat opponent....
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, walks onto the stage to speak to delegates during the GOP State Convention at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy on Saturday, April 23, 2022. (Adam Fondren for the Deseret News)
(Adam Fondren for the Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Democrats won’t be putting forward a challenger for Republican Sen. Mike Lee, but instead are joining forces with a known, though independent name. 

Evan McMullin’s campaign now has the backing of more of Utah’s Democrats in his race to unseat the senior senator than the Democrat in the race, Kael Weston.

Over on the GOP side of things, Lee won his party’s nomination Saturday afternoon, receiving over 70% of the vote. 

Lee’s text message exchange wither former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has been front and center in the days ahead of today’s convention. He says he was not trying to overturn the election.

“I’m going to continue to focus on what I believe in and what I’m doing,” Lee told reporters after the vote.

The incumbent has two challengers, Becky Edwards and Ally Isom, who will also be on the primary ballot. All three candidates gathered enough signatures to guarantee their names to be printed.

A primary for the third congressional district

Congressman John Curtis faced another hard convention this afternoon. From five candidates, we got down to two.

Curtis will see a primary challenger in Chris Herrod. Herrod got 54% of the delegate vote, while Curtis got 41.77% of the vote.

 

In order for a candidate to be the only GOP nominee, they have to get 60% of the delegate vote. If no one gets that much, the top two appear on the primary ballot. That’s what we’re seeing with Curtis and Herrod. 

Here’s what happened with the other congressional districts

In the first congressional district, there will be three people on the primary ballot: Congressman Blake Moore, Andrew Badger and Tina Cannon.

 

Badger won at the convention; Cannon gathered signatures.

For the second congressional district, incumbent Congressman Chris Stewart was the overwhelming nominee, but he’ll still have a challenger. 

 

Those registered Republicans in the fourth congressional district will have two choices on their primary ballot. 

Congressman Burgess Owens won his delegate vote, but challenger Jake Hunsaker will be on the ballot after gathering enough signatures as well.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Utah Democrats will back an independent Evan McMullin, John Curtis facing primary challenger