Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has won his renomination bid for U.S. Senate in Utah, setting up a general election matchup with Never Trumper Evan McMullin.
The Associated Press called the race at 10:21 p.m. EST. As of 10:30 p.m., Lee secured 57.3 percent of the vote, with 58 percent reporting. Candidate Becky Edwards was not near striking distance, garnering 34.4 percent of the vote.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) June 29, 2022
Lee, who was just one of 11 GOP senators to vote against the $40 billion Ukraine aid package, earned former President Donald J Trump’s endorsement back on April 1.
“Senator Mike Lee has done an outstanding job for the wonderful people of Utah. There is no greater voice for our Military, our Vets, Law and Order, or our Second Amendment, which is under total siege,” Trump stated, per the Hill.
“He loves his State, and is by far the superior Senator there—not even a contest!” Trump added, taking a swipe at failed Presidential candidate and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Lee will square off against McMullen, an independent candidate, in November, as well as Libertarian candidate James Hansen. In his endorsement of Lee, the 45th President slammed McMullin.
“Evan ‘McMuffin’ McMullin, a man that does not represent the standards and policies of the great people of Utah,” Trump said. “All you have to do is read the ads about McMuffin in the last campaign to know what he stands for.”
McMullin, a former GOP staffer in Washinton, DC, was a stark critic of Trump and the Make America Great Again movement in 2016 and even launched a miserably failed presidential bid as an independent candidate.
At the time, McMullin told libertarian activist and journalist Austen Peterson:
What we’re trying to do is earn enough electoral votes [in the Electoral College] to block Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, if the race between both of them is close that we are able to do that by winning one or two states … if not that, then we will be, you know, happy to have prevented someone who I believe is a true authoritarian from taking power in the United States and that is Donald Trump.
McMullin only garnered half of one percent of the popular vote in the 2016 general election, finishing fifth behind both Gary J0hnson and Jill Stein.