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Situational awareness - January 11, 2017

Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. 

Speaker Greg Hughes announces he's not running for re-election in 2018. Mitt Romney faces a tough choice if he decides to run for Senate. Republicans are worried about keeping their majority in the U.S. House after the 2018 midterms.

Tick Tock:

Welcome to our daily rundown of the important news stories you need to know. I'm always available at bschott@utahpolicy.com for you to send your story tips, complaints, or rants. I'd love to hear from you.

I'll be sparring with Rep. Mike Winder about what could happen in the 2018 midterm elections at the monthly meeting of the Professional Republican Women of Utah today at noon at the Utah State Capitol. Hope to see you there.

Tell your friends they can subscribe to our newsletter here.

Here's what's driving the day:

Shakeup in the Legislature

House Speaker Greg Hughes announces he won't run for another term in 2018, which is fueling speculation that he's getting ready to run for governor in 2020 [Utah Policy].

McAdams named to "Red to Blue" program

Democrat Ben McAdams's run against Republican Mia Love in the 4th CD is getting some national help. The campaign arm of House Democrats has named McAdams to their list of top challengers in Republican districts, which means they'll offer him fundraising and organizational assistance [Utah Policy].

If Romney runs, will he go through the GOP convention?

Utah GOP Chairman Rob Anderson sure hopes Mitt Romney will go through the caucus/convention system because it will give a boost to the moderate wing of the party. But others say Romney should skip the convention altogether because there's no benefit for him [Utah Policy].

Utahns don't like Congress, but they approve of the State Legislature

A new UtahPolicy.com survey finds nearly 70% of Utahns disapprove of Congress, while 62% like the job the Utah State Legislature is doing. That's curious because both entities are controlled by Republicans [Utah Policy].

Other Utah headlines:

National headlines:

On this day in history:

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Today At Utah Policy

Poll: Utahns don't approve of Congress, but they like the State Legislature

Utahns really disapprove of the job the Republican-controlled Congress is doing, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.But Dan Jones & Associates also finds that the GOP-dominated Utah Legislature is approved of by a large majority of voters....

Is the caucus/convention route too risky for Mitt Romney if he runs?

If Mitt Romney does decide to run for Utah's open U.S. Senate seat this year, he will likely use the signature gathering route to get on the ballot. But Utah GOP Chair Rob Anderson hopes Romney also decides to come to the convention....

McAdams named to Democratic 'Red to Blue' program

Fresh off his announcement that he pulled in more than $500,000 in campaign donations during the first few months of his campaign, Democrat Ben McAdams has been named to the House Democratic campaign arm's "Red to Blue" program. The designation is reserved for top challenger...

Weekly survey: Will Romney get a Republican challenger?

If Mitt Romney jumps into the U.S. Senate race, will he face a credible challenge for the Republican nomination? Also, do you believe the allegations raised in Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury? Vote now in our weekly survey....

Hughes not running for re-election

Sources tell UtahPolicy.com that Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes will not run for re-election this year....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Congress

There's a U.S. Senate seat up for election in 2018 as well as all four U.S. House seats. Here's our list of rumored and declared candidates....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah Senate

2018 means another election cycle is upon us. Half of the Utah Senate seats are up for election this year, including an unexpected one because of a retirement. Here's our running list of candidates for those seats....

2018 Utah candidate tracker - Utah House

Next week candidates can start gathering signatures to get on the 2018 ballot. All 75 Utah House seats are up for election this year. Here's our running list of who's in, who's out and who's challenging....

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Policy News

Registration open for governor-led trade mission to Mexico
World Trade Center Utah (WTC Utah) is currently accepting registrants for the Governor-led Trade Mission to Mexico, which will occur April 9-13, 2018....

Utah.Gov launches first Utah State Government Google Home app
The Department of Public Safety and the Department of Technology Services announced the introduction of the Utah driver license practice exam on Google Home....

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Local Headlines

Salt Lake Tribune

Editorial: Cliven Bundy is right. We're not done with this.

Let's build liquor stores at a faster pace and save taxpayers money, Utah Republican says

A possible candidate for governor, Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes says he'll leave the Legislature at the end of his term

Clearfield woman says gutted Volkswagen in her tree is art, but police say it's an ordinance violation

Democrats criticize Utah judicial pick over his fight for Prop 8 and support for memos justifying torture

Count My Vote, meet Keep My Voice: New ballot plan seeks to ban signature-gathering candidates

Utah Senate president pushes for toll road in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Republicans replace outgoing doctor with another in the Utah Senate - and he may face yet another physician in the November election

Deseret News

A. Scott Anderson: Utah's education, air quality among the most important issues to tackle in 2018

Jay Evensen: The irony of the Cliven Bundy case

New 'Keep My Voice' initiative seeks to undo SB54 nomination process

Romney laying groundwork for Senate race, but won't announce next week, friend says

UTOPIA to offer fastest internet service in the country

Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes not seeking re-election in 2018

Utah is top state for population growth, but not just because people are moving here


House District 63 delegates select replacement for Dean Sanpei (Daily Herald)

Medical marijuana gains support from doctors, patients, researchers (Standard-Examiner)

National Headlines

Poll: Nearly half of voters say Trump exoneration is likely in 2018 (Politico)

Trump attacks Feinstein over release of testimony on Russia probe, calls for GOP to 'take control' (Washington Post)

Dianne Feinstein Says Someone 'Pressured' Her To Release Fusion GPS Transcripts, Backtracks (Daily Wire)

Supreme Court seems skeptical of blocking Ohio law that removes voters from rolls (Washington Post)

Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin opt to settle divorce out of court to spare young son embarrassment (New York Daily News)

Trump Renews Pledge to 'Take a Strong Look' at Libel Laws (New York Times)

Democratic Leader in State Senate Accused of Sexual Misconduct (New York Times)

5 Mexican states get highest US 'do not travel' warning (ABC News)

Lavish Obama Center hits mounting opposition in Chicago as profs blast plans, 'socially regressive' ideas (FOX News)

Senators want 'massive' fines for data breaches at Equifax and other credit reporting firms (Los Angeles Times)

Jack in the Box CEO Says It 'Makes Sense' to Consider Replacing Human Cashiers with Robots If Wages Rise (Slate)

Wise Words


"The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear." Socrates

Lighter Side


"President Trump announced that he wants to send astronauts back to the moon for the first time in 45 years. And then the president was startled when Melania yelled, "I'll go!" Harry Styles

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