According to predictions, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) was re-elected on Tuesday night, beating Not ever Trumper and independent Utah Senate contender Evan McMullin.
Lee, who will be serving his third term, was declared the winner by Fox News.
Unlike in most states, Lee did not have a Democratic primary opponent. Instead, he had McMullin, an independent candidate. Instead of supporting their own contender, the Utah Democratic Party backed McMullin’s quest to unseat Lee.
McMullin has been chastised by Lee and others for his close relationships with the Democratic Party, which include utilizing Dem. fundraiser tool ActBlue, fundraisers with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), and fundraisers with leftist activists including Alyssa Milano. McMullin has also paid Democrat operatives over $1.9 million to push his agenda.
This is the reason Lee accuses McMullin of supporting the “Dem. industrial complex.”
Despite his commitment to be an independent in the Senate if he is elected, Lee and others projected that if elected, he would’ve caucused with the Democrats.
Despite Senator Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) unwillingness to support and advocate for Lee’s reelection, Lee won. Even if members within the same party differ on issues, it is traditional for colleagues, particularly those within the same congressional delegation, to advocate for one another. Romney has refused to support Lee, arguing that he is unable to pick between Lee and McMullin.
His failure to support Lee has infuriated Senate Republicans. Romney’s advisors are “extremely upset” by Lee’s stubbornness to back down on the issue.
Despite Romney’s opposition to Lee, the Club for Growth has still been a staunch defender of Utah’s senior senator.
Many ads and fliers have been distributed by the Club for Growth Action and the Crypto Freedom PAC, both of which are affiliated with the Club for Growth, emphasizing McMullin’s anti-Republican language, which includes describing the Republicans as “un-Americans,” racist, and bigots.
McMullin was so incensed by the advertising that he began legal action against the Club for Growth.
The Club for Growth had even ran an ad in support of Lee’s reelection alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) as part of DeSantis’ first commercial for an out-of-state GOP.