Utah Democrats decided on Saturday to back independent nominee Evan McMullin for Senate over Dem. Kael Weston, in an unprecedented move aimed at building momentum to unseat Republican Sen. Mike Lee in November.
Utah Democrats are positioning themselves for more power in the general election by failing to run a candidate this fall, despite the fact that their party has not won a Senate contest in the conservative state since 1970.
According to preliminary data, Evan McMullin earned 782 votes to Weston’s 594 votes at the Utah Democratic Convention; the resolution to choose Evan McMullin’s independent candidacy over Weston’s candidacy garnered 57 percent of the vote.
Evan McMullin Has Utah Democrats’ Support
Evan McMullin, an ex-CIA officer who ran for president unsuccessfully in 2016, earning nearly 22 percent of the votes in Utah against former President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, praised the decision.
At the Republican National Convention on Saturday, Lee received support from about 75% of the delegates. In a GOP primary in June, he will face ex-state Rep. Becky Edwards and Ally Isom, a former Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokeswoman. Both Edwards and Isom have called for new leadership and chastised Lee for his rhetoric, claiming that he has done little to change Washington’s governing atmosphere. McMullin blasted Lee on Saturday for being embroiled in the 2020 presidential election discussion, which Trump continues to claim was rigged despite no verifiable proof of widespread wrongdoing.
Lee fiercely denied last week that he pushed state lawmakers to submit substitute Trump-supporting electors ahead of the Electoral College results in certification on Jan 6, 2021, in the US Capitol.