Election 2022 Utah Senate

Independent Evan McMullin speaks to supporters during an election-night event on Tuesday, Nov. 8 in Taylorsville.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Democrats’ decision to back an independent rather than nominate a member of their own party to take on Republican Mike Lee transformed the state’s U.S. Senate race from foregone conclusion to closely watched slugfest.

Independent Evan McMullin, an anti-Trump former Republican best known for his longshot 2016 presidential bid, attracted millions in outside spending in his campaign against Lee. He forced the second-term Republican to engage with voters more than in prior elections and emphasize an independent streak and willingness to buck leaders of his own party.


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