Utah Democratic Party votes to not nominate own Senate candidate, back McMullin

Posted at 9:47 PM, Apr 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 08:26:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY — History was made Saturday at the Utah Democratic Party Convention.

The Democrats chose not to nominate a candidate for U.S. Senate from their own party. Instead, they chose to join independent candidate Evan McMullin's coalition to challenge incumbent Sen. Mike Lee.

"I feel good. I feel like most Utahns are ready to make a change," McMullin said. "I know we have far more in common than in difference."

READ: Utah Republican delegates largely back incumbents, but most are in primaries

The decision wasn’t an easy one.

"It was loud and unpredictable, but I do think this process was important for our party," said Kael Weston, who was running as a Democrat.

Some delegates had concerns with McMullin.

"I’ve noticed that depending on who he talks to, he’s either the most liberal person I’ve ever met, or he’s the most right-wing conservative person I’ve ever met," said Dallas Guymon. "So where does he stand on the issues?"

But others say it’s a welcome change.

"We’ve just got to continue to build this coalition of Utahns," McMullin said.

On Sunday, Weston sent out a concession statement:

"I respect their decision and will continue to work hard in the months and years ahead to help bring political balance in our fast-growing and diversifying state.
"Thank you to Team Weston and all of our supporters. There will be more elections. There is more shared work to do on behalf of all of our Utah neighbors, particularly those who get up early, get home late, then do it all over again.
"Let's all help get other Democrats elected this year. And let's all help defeat Mike Lee — the sooner the better."