Sen. Mike Lee beat two Republican challengers to his third term as U.S. Senator, but now he faces an even tougher challenge from an independent candidate supported by Democrats in November.
with 64% vote reported. Mr. Lee led with 59% vote. With 33%, Becky Edwards (ex-GOP state Rep.) was second and Ally Isom (3rd place), 8%.
Mr. Lee will now face Evan McMullin, an independent candidate in November’s race. Analysts believe that this could prove more challenging than usual in deep red Beehive State.
Mr. McMullin is an outspoken opponent of President Donald Trump and has been supported by the Democratic Party of Utah. The party took the unique step of selecting its candidate to support Mr. McMullin. Mr. McMullin ran against Mr. Trump in 2016 as an independent and picked up more than 20% of the presidential election vote in Utah.
Mr. Mullin tried to link Mr. Lee with Mr. Trump’s attempt to prevent Joe Biden becoming President in 2020.
The media received messages in April showing Mr. Lee, on Nov. 7th, offering his “unconditional support” for Mr. Trump’s chief staffer, Mark Meadows. To restore America’s faith and confidence in the elections .”
Mr. Lee was not a supporter of Trump’s campaign and did vote to confirm Joe Biden winning on January 6. 2021, But Mr. McMullin accuses Mr. Lee with treason. Tweeted Thursday by Mr. McMullin, “Mike Lee conspired with the Trump Administration to overturn the 2020 electoral and override will of the American people.”
Mr. McMullin has significant difficulties in winning the Utah electorate, especially as he attempts to court Democratic- and Independent voters while also trying to appeal to disaffected Republicans.
Utah has not elected a Democrat for statewide office in Utah since 1996.
Mr. McMullin supported Mr. Biden, but he said that he was against the Supreme Court overturning 1973’s ruling legalizing abortion. On Friday, Roe v. Wade was overturned by the high court.
Mr. McMullin released a statement in which he pledged his opposition to any state that would impose “extreme law” such as total bans or limits on abortion and birth control, and criminalization of women who are “in desperate circumstances .”