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Davis Journal

Mike Lee seems like a sure bet in 2022

Nov 04, 2021 12:06PM ● By Bryan Gray

You can bet on it…The odds are 100% that I’ll never become a convent nun…That I’ll never climb Mount Kilimanjaro…That I’ll never register for an Iron Man competition…And that I’ll never call Ted Bundy my hero.

The odds are almost as high (99.99%) that I’ll never eat an eel, wrestle with an alligator, become a coal miner, eat every meal for a year at McDonald’s, or wear Spanx.

Here’s another set of odds: Despite interest from a number of donors and elected officials, no one will defeat Sen. Mike Lee in next year’s election.

There is a rising political chatter. A friend of mine is willing to donate “what it takes” to replace Lee with former presidential candidate Evan McMullin.  Another friend has held a neighborhood meeting to introduce his friends to announced contender Becky Edwards. Several weeks ago one of the founders of Mormon Women for Ethical Government urged Utahns to donate to and support the Edwards campaign saying we need “a proven track record as a unifier who would best represent the people, interests, and values of Utah.”

All the noise is great water cooler talk for those who engage in politics. But the odds of successfully unseating Lee are as high as me donating to the Ku Klux Klan.

The challengers are good people, but….

McMullin’s chances hang on convincing the Democratic Party to endorse him on an independent ticket and stop any other Utahn from appearing on the Democrat side of the ballot. That simply won’t happen, even though many prominent Democrats agree with the concept.  McMullin ran a strong independent campaign in 2018 but was still easily crushed by the Trump voters.

Trump will call McMullin a pathetic RINO (Republican in Name Only) and, considering that the majority of Utah Republicans still think Biden is an imposter president, McMullin will be roadkill for an angry GOP.

Edwards is smart and likable. The daughter-in-law of BYU legend LaVell Edwards, she might pull her weight if the race were limited to Salt Lake and Davis counties.  But the odds are 100% she would lose among the ultra-conservative convention delegates and she would be a decided underdog in a statewide Republican primary where women have not fared well.

A third candidate, Ally Isom, is little known outside of political circles and has already outraged some potential donors by “advertising” her connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lee, an elephant, would squash Isom, a political gnat. 

Honestly, I would vote for any of the three challengers. To me, Mike Lee’s comment comparing Donald Trump to Captain Moroni was enough to disqualify him from being a serious human being, let alone his stubbornness in paying the country’s legal debts, a move that in 2011 cost taxpayers an estimated $1.3 billion.  His professed “fiscal restraint” didn’t apply to his inability to make his own house payment and while he portrays himself as a “constitutionalist,” I view him as a partisan “obstructionist” with the cold demeanor of a granite countertop.  

But in a very “red” state, close ties with rich right-wing donor PACs, and the obvious hesitancy for other Republican officials to criticize their own incumbent, you pencil in Mike Lee for another six years. Bet on it!