Republican Burgess Owens speaks during a campaign launch event at Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s only Democrat in Congress, Rep. Ben McAdams, is conceding Monday to Republican Burgess Owens, a former NFL player, author and frequent Fox News guest making his first run for public office in a race that had been too close to call since Election Day on Nov. 3.
McAdams, 45, who returned to Washington, D.C., Monday, left a voicemail with Owens and is scheduled to hold an online news conference on his concession at 3:30 p.m. Owens, 69 and the second Black Republican elected to Congress from Utah, is also in the nation’s capital, meeting with other newly elected members of Congress and GOP leaders.
His lead over McAdams during the past week appeared insurmountable Friday after Salt Lake County reported most of the remaining results from voters in the 4th Congressional District, which includes portions of Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties, keeping Owens ahead, 47.5% to just over 46.9%.
The official vote canvass is Tuesday and the results will become final with the state canvass on Nov. 23. The race is one of the last in the country to be settled in an election that saw Democrats lose seats in Congress but maintain control of the House.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, listens during a press conference at the Military Services Monument in West Jordan’s Veterans Memorial Park on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.
Even before Monday, Owens had been congratulated on a victory by a long list of Republicans, including President Donald Trump and Utah Sen. Mike Lee. Owens tweeted his own congratulations to other newly elected Republicans, saying, “Promise you … this LOVE AMERICA Freshman team will make you proud. Stay tuned”
McAdams, a former Salt Lake County mayor, had won the seat two years ago after defeating two-term Republican Rep. Mia Love, the first Black Republican woman to serve in Congress, by less than 700 votes. More than $22 million has been spent on the race, considered one of the most competitive in the country.
Not only was the race the most expensive in the state’s history, it has also been described as the most negative. Much of the money that poured into the race from both Republican and Democratic groups, as well as the more than $8.5 million raised by the candidates, paid for seemingly nonstop attack ads on TV.
McAdams was linked to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and liberal causes as well as past controversies, while Owens was criticized for personal bankruptcies and questionable statements, including calling Democrats Marxists and socialists and labelling that party’s leaders as “narcissists” and “sociopaths” who “love misery.”
Trump endorsed Owens after his June 30 primary election victory over three other Republican contenders — state Rep. Kim Coleman, former KSL Newsradio host Jay Mcfarland and nonprofit CEO Trent Christensen — …read more
Source:: Deseret News – Utah News