Owens & McAdams In Close Race For 4th Congressional District

Nov 4, 2020, 7:30 AM | Updated: Nov 6, 2020, 4:19 pm

After a 3 p.m. update from Utah County on Friday, Republican challenger Burgess Owens has received 132,656 votes to Democrat Ben McAdams’ 130,369 votes in the race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, for a difference of 2,287 votes (0.83%).

Updates can be found here.

THURSDAY: After a 6 p.m. update from Utah County, Republican challenger Burgess Owens has received 132,647 votes to Democrat Ben McAdams’ 130,363 votes in the race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

Salt Lake County released results from 34,568 ballots on Thursday.

Utah County said they planned on releasing 30,000 ballots Thursday, and 20,000 were released at 3 p.m. Another 14,000 were released around 6 p.m.

Utah County Clerk/Auditor Amelia Powers Gardner said her office has almost finished processing ballots that affect this race.

Approximately 165,000 ballots remained to be counted in Salt Lake County as of Thursday night, but those ballots will be split among the races for Utah’s 2nd, 3rd and 4th congressional districts.

The 4th district represents parts of Juab, Salt Lake, Sanpete and Utah counties.

The 2018 race between McAdams and Mia Love was decided by approximately 700 votes.

“This has been and continues to be a close race,” said Andrew Roberts, McAdams campaign manager. “We’ve seen these numbers go back and forth before, as additional votes are tallied. We appreciate the careful and thorough job performed by Utah’s election clerks and we remain confident that Ben will ultimately prevail.”

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The congressional race for a suburban Salt Lake City House district was too close to call Wednesday night, with many votes still uncounted.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams has been running at a dead heat against Republican Burgess Owens, a former NFL football player and frequent Fox News guest.

Nearly $19 million has been poured into the race in the district where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly three to one.

It could take days to declare a winner since Utah’s system of primarily by-mail balloting generally takes longer to count due to additional verification steps.

The McAdams camp told KSL-TV they were feeling good Tuesday night.

As of Wednesday night, McAdams was ahead 116,692 to 114,040 over Owens — a lead of 1.1%.

This is nothing new for McAdams, whose race against Mia Love in 2018 came down to a 700-vote difference and wasn’t determined for a couple of weeks.

Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, said this race is interesting because it includes four counties and each county is politically very different.

McAdams does well in Salt Lake County and, up to this point, has received 54% of the vote in Salt Lake. Meanwhile, Burgess does better in Utah County, where McAdams is getting less than a third of those voters. Right now there are roughly 200,000 ballots in Salt Lake County that have not been counted. In Utah County, that number is just over 80,000.

This has been a very heated race, with attack ads on TV around the clock.

Millions of dollars have been spent, but McAdams believed people looked to him not as a Democrat, but as a congressman who watches out for Utahns.

“Despite the negative TV ads, they know that I am an independent. I work to put Utah first and put people ahead of party, and I’ll work with people on both sides of the isle to bring people together to find solutions,” McAdams said. “People know me. My reputation is the unifier who puts party aside and tries to bring people together.”

There was a lot of excitement after the initial returns were processed.

“We feel good. We’re feeling really optimistic right now. There’s still a lot of votes to count, so the night is young. A lot of votes are still coming in, but at this point we’re feeling good and we like where the numbers are,” McAdams told KSL TV.

They knew it was going to be a very tight race from the beginning. McAdams has been in close races before. Just two years ago against Mia Love he won by just 694 votes.

“I’ve worked hard over the last couple years to show people that I’m somebody who will put Utah first and people ahead of party,” he said. “I think there are good ideas on both sides of the aisle. We’ve just got to work together to get through hardship, and I think people are seeing that.”

The Burgess Owens camp was also feeling optimistic at the Republican headquarters in Sandy, where they spent Election Night.

Owens spoke to KSL-TV before 10 p.m. about the early returns. He said he was still very optimistic about the results because of lot of his support came from Utah County and there were still a lot of ballots there to be counted.

“I’m very excited about (my chances). You know, one thing that I found this last year is that I was one of those guys who said I’m never going to be a politician,” Owens said. “It was one of the greatest years I’ve spent.”

Owens said that campaigning over the last year has helped him to know even more about Utahns and their values.

“We have to wait and see how the southern part of my district works out. I think it’s going to be in my favor, and if it is, I look forward to serving Utah. I just can’t wait to make it happen,” he said.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Owens & McAdams In Close Race For 4th Congressional District