Evan McMullin to Launch Independent Run for U.S. Senate

Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer who received 21.5 percent of the vote in Utah as an Independent candidate in the 2016 presidential election (0.53 percent nationwide), plans to announce an Independent challenge to incumbent Republican Mike Lee of Utah for his US Senate seat in 2022, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.

McMullin, whose views align with the #NeverTrump movement, took advantage of Mormon distaste for Donald Trump’s persona in 2016 to at one point take the lead in presidential opinion polls against Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in deeply red Utah.  Trump went on to win the state and McMullin finished in third place behind the second place Clinton.  Since then, McMullin has been a steadfast critic of the Trump administration and endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 election.  Trump won Utah by 21 percent over Biden.

No date for McMullin’s announcement has been set and he makes no mention of it on Twitter.

Only two Independents currently serve in the US Senate: Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine; both of whom caucus with the Democrats.

6 thoughts on “Evan McMullin to Launch Independent Run for U.S. Senate

  1. NewFederalist

    I hope he doesn’t cost Senator Lee re-election. I think Lee and Rand Paul are the two most libertarian leaning and constitutionally focussed people in the US Senate.

  2. Thane Eichenauer

    If Mike Lee can’t convince enough voters not to vote for a retired CIA agent after 20 years of occupation of Afghanistan (now thankfully officially ended) then he is doing a very bad job (or the CIA is going a great job, you decide). I rather think that Mike Lee is doing an above-average but not exceptional job compared to his 99 fellow US Senators.

  3. Ryan

    Yeah, surprised he’s running against Lee. Doesn’t really fit the ideal Republican opponent from McMullin’s point of view.

  4. Gene Berkman

    On Novermber 9, 2016, The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Sen. Mike Lee had voted for
    Evan McMullin for President.
    “It was a protest vote,” he told an audience at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute in Salt Lake City, acknowledging he didn’t know McMullin well, or much about him.
    https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=4563854&itype=CMSID

    This was a statement after the fact, not a public endorsement. Numerous Republican officials and former officials in Utah did endorse Evan McMullin in 2016, and he received 243,690 votes in Utah.

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