Evan McMullin announces entrance into US Senate race

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Evan McMullin speaks during an interview in Salt Lake City onAug. 10, 2016. McMullin, a former independent presidential candidate, is launching a new campaign to challenge Republican Sen. Mike Lee in Utah. McMullin, a former CIA agent and congressional aide, announced his third-party candidacy Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, in the conservative state where he made inroads with voters uncomfortable with then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. (Weston Kenney/The Deseret News via AP, File)

Evan McMullin announced his campaign to represent Utah in the upcoming 2022 U.S. Senate race. 

McMullin, a BYU graduate and former CIA officer most known for his independent “Anti-Trump” run in the 2016 Presidential Election, will be entering the race to replace Mike Lee as a third-party independent.  

“I’m not running as a Republican or a Democrat,” McMullin said. “I’m running as a patriot, as an American committed to defending our nation and changing our politics for the better.”

McMullin announced his campaign Tuesday morning via Twitter. Attached to the tweet is a three-minute video detailing his stance on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the current state of U.S. political polarization.

“America has reached another crossroads – our streets of fire and our temple of democracy desecrated,” he said in the video. “The extremes in Washington don’t represent Utah.”

McMullin will be running under a platform to unite Utah. “Our politics are broken,” McMullin said, “and it’s putting our country in danger. We need leaders who will unite rather than divide.” 

As a third-party candidate, McMullin will not need to achieve the primary Republican vote that fellow potential selectees Becky Edwards and Ally Isom will need. This will put him directly on the ballot against whoever achieves the Republican primary nomination. 

Concerning his chances of winning, Utah Policy Daily editor Holly Richardson said that McMullin will make interesting talking points, but ultimately has a very low chance of winning against whoever wins the Republican nomination. “It’s going to be a Republican who wins,” she said. 

Candidate Reactions

Becky Edwards, tweeted her support in response to his campaign announcement, saying “Welcome to the race. I look forward to the conversations we’ll share throughout our campaigns.” 

Ally Isom tweeted a response to Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gherke, saying “One cannot change the GOP from the outside. Evan overestimates his support in UT. People [in 2016] were just looking for an alternative to Clinton and Trump. They can’t tell you what he stands for.” 

Mike Lee, the current Utah representative the U.S. Senate, has not yet publicly responded to McMullin’s announcement. 

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