Republican candidates Trent Christensen, left, Kim Coleman, Jay Mcfarland and Burgess Owens speak during a 4th Congressional District debate at the KUED studios on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020. | Steve Griffin, Deseret News
Winner will face Utah’s only Democrat in Congress in November election
SALT LAKE CITY — Burgess Owens has the early lead with 43% of the vote to be the Republican pick to challenge the state’s only Democrat in Congress for the 4th District seat in the fall general election, according to initial primary results released late Tuesday.
Of the other candidates in the race, Kim Coleman received 24% of the vote, Jay Mcfarland got 22%, and Trent Christensen got 11%.
The winner of the Republican primary will challenge Rep. Ben McAdams in his first election since he narrowly unseated former Rep. Mia Love two years ago in what is expected to be Utah’s most competitive general election race in November.
McAdams, who beat Love by less than 700 votes in 2018, has been labeled one of the nation’s most vulnerable members of the Congress running for reelection. His bid for reelection has already been targeted by national Republican and Democratic groups battling for control of the U.S. House. It’s a must-win congressional district for both parties.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News
State Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, speaks during a 4th Congressional District GOP debate at the PBS Utah studios on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020.
Ahead of the primary, pundits have had a tough time predicting the winner with no contenders surfacing as a “clear standout,” as Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics, said in an interview with the Deseret News earlier in June.
The GOP primary for the 4th District race hasn’t attracted much attention, overshadowed by the hotly contested race for the Republican nomination for Utah’s governor, the global COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing national unrest over police violence.
But the winner of Tuesday’s primary will win the backing of the Republican Party in a contest that’s likely to be highly competitive.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News
Jay Mcfarland, former KSL Newsradio host, speaks during a 4th Congressional District GOP debate at the PBS Utah studios on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on Monday, June 1, 2020.
An April Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found that voters in the 4th District, which includes parts of Salt Lake and Utah counties, were split over reelecting McAdams, but more than two-thirds were undecided about which of the then-seven Republicans in the race they supported.
Later that month, state Republican Party convention delegates picked Coleman and Owens to advance to the primary ballot and eliminated three candidates: former Utah GOP communications adviser Kathleen Anderson, nurse practitioner Chris Biesinger; and businesswoman Cindy Thompson.
Owens, Mcfarland and Christensen had already qualified for the primary …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News