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Fmr. Congressman Ben McAdams starts fundraising for McMullin's independent Senate bid

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Posted at 12:20 PM, Dec 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-30 14:21:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Democratic congressman Ben McAdams has started fundraising for independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin.

In an email shared with FOX 13, McAdams solicits donations to McMullin's campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Mike Lee.

"We are grateful to the Congressman for answering Evan's call for a cross-partisan coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents and appreciate Ben’s support on the campaign trail. The fact is, a majority of Utahns want to replace Mike Lee and our campaign is the way to do that. All are welcome regardless of political party or who they voted for in past elections. It is critical that we unite on common ground and stand up to the chaos in Washington. We're eager to take our message to every corner of Utah in the coming months," McMullin spokesperson Kelsey Koenen Witt told FOX 13.

McAdams, was Utah's lone Democrat in Congress from 2019 to 2021, representing the fourth district. He lost to Republican Burgess Owens in the 2020 election.

McAdams endorsed McMullin last month, saying in a statement: "Evan can win. His path is clear. If principled Democrats, Independents and Republicans join together in this movement, Evan McMullin will win this race and once again, Utah will set a critical example for the nation."

McMullin previously endorsed McAdams' run for re-election to Congress.

Sen. Lee remains a formidable opponent. A poll by the Deseret News shows Utah's senior senator with 53% favorability against Republican challengers Becky Edwards and Ally Isom. The Deseret News polling also shows McMullin has a 23% favorability rating, with 62% saying they "don't know."

McMullin previously mounted an independent bid for President of the United States in 2016 against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, where he received 21% of the vote in Utah.

As the race for Senate grows with candidates heading into the 2022 elections, it remains to be seen who — if anyone — will run as a Democrat. In a statement to FOX 13, the Utah Democratic Party said it was remaining neutral and also staying out of McAdams' campaigning for the independent candidate.

"Members of the Utah Democratic Party are free to support whomever they would like in the U.S. Senate race, but the party itself does not get involved with any individual candidates until after a nominee is chosen, either at convention or in a primary. Until that time, the Party will remain neutral," the statement said.