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Situational awareness - August 14, 2019

Good Wednesday morning from Salt Lake City

Thanks for reading Utah's must-read daily political news rundown. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for our emails.

Here are the stories you need to pay attention to this morning:

  • Erin Mendenhall apparently wins the SLC mayoral primary election. Jim Dabakis and Luz Robles are in a close battle for the second spot and a ticket to November's election.
  • Kim Coleman jumps into the GOP race to take on Ben McAdams.
  • Support for gun control legislation grows in Congress.

 Conversation BubbleHow are we doing?

I love hearing from you! Send your news tips or feedback to me at bschott@utahpolicy.com. or you can message me on Twitter.

The UtahPolicy.com daily newsletter gets you up to speed on the top local and national news about politics and public policy. Our news is curated by Managing Editor Bryan Schott, along with help from Golden Webb. ((Click here to subscribe))

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Today is the 226th day of the year. There are 139 days remaining in 2019.

83 days to the 2019 municipal elections (11/5/2019)

141 days until candidates can begin to gather signatures to get on the 2020 ballot (1/2/2020)

166 days to the first day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (1/27/2020)

173 days to the Iowa caucuses (2/3/2020)

181 days to the New Hampshire primaries (2/11/2020)

192 days to the Nevada Democratic caucuses (2/22/2020)

199 days to the South Carolina Democratic primary (2/29/2020)

202 days to the Utah presidential primaries (3/3/2020)

211 days to the final day of the 2020 Utah Legislature (3/12/2020)

212 days to the opening of candidate filing for the 2020 election (3/13/2020)

314 days to the 2020 Utah primary elections (6/23/2020)

334 days to the 2020 Democratic national convention in Milwaukee (7/13/2020)

376 days to the 2020 Republican national convention in Charlotte (8/24/2020)

447 days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)

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Today At Utah Policy

images/1000px_Mugs/Erin_Mendenhall_01.jpgMendenhall leads tight three-way race in the Salt Lake City Mayoral primary
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Erin Mendenhall It appears the Salt Lake City mayoral primary is now a three-way race for two spots in November's general election.
images/1000px_Logos/Bernick_and_Schott_Logo_1000.jpgReunited, and it feels so good! - Bernick and Schott on politics
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott are back with their cynical take on all things Utah politics.
images/1000px_Mugs/Kim_Coleman_01.jpgColeman is 4th Republican to jump into Fourth District Race; Cannon launches candidacy to replace Bishop
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
 Rep. Kim Coleman State Rep. Kim Coleman is the fourth Republican to seek that party's nomination to face Democrat Ben McAdams in November. 
images/1000px_Logos/Zions_Bank_Logo_01.pngRising home prices offset falling transportation costs
By Zions Bank
The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained essentially unchanged overall from June to July on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jon_Huntsman_03.jpgUtahns aren't yet sold on whether Jon Huntsman should return to Utah to run for governor again
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Jon Huntsman, Jr.A plurality of Utahns says they would like to see former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman return to the Beehive State and run for governor once again according to a new Utah Political Trends survey.
images/1000px_Mugs/Spencer_Cox_01.jpgIs Spencer Cox running too early? Are others getting in too late?
By LaVarr Webb, Publisher
 Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox Spencer Cox has formally announced his candidacy for governor and is off and running hard. It's a very early formal start to a gubernatorial campaign.
images/1000px_Article_Photos/Vote_By_Mail_Ballot.jpgPast elections suggest Tuesday's SLC mayoral primary could be a tight race
By Bryan Schott, Managing Editor
Tuesday's Salt Lake City mayoral primary election could be a nail biter. With eight candidates vying for just two slots in the November general election, the difference between advancing and the end of the road might be a handful of votes.
images/1000px_Logos/Cities_Work_Logo.jpgCities Work podcast: Medical marijuana growth and distribution in our cities
By Utah League of Cities and Towns
What does a baseball game have to do with marijuana production? Besides the fast that they both involve grass, it's a simple way to explain how far Utah has come in implementing the new medical marijuana use law.
images/1000px_Mugs/Donald_Trump_01.jpgAnalysis: Trump's unpopularity in Utah's 4th District could spell trouble for GOP next year
By Bob Bernick, Contributing Editor
President Donald TrumpJust how different politically is Utah's 4th U.S. House district?In some instances, not much.
images/1000px_Mugs/Jack_Hedge_01.jpgWith new CEO, Inland Port Authority transitions from organizational to operational
By Gaylen Webb
Jack Hedge"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with global implications." That's how Jack Hedge, the Utah Inland Port Authority's new CEO and executive director, describes the challenge of transitioning Utah's inland port from a lofty proposition to a working operation.

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Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune



Mass shooting fallout. House and Senate Democrats are pressuring Senate Republican leadership to take up gun safety legislation. Senators in both parties have been meeting with White House officials about gun control legislation [NYT].

  • Support for passing an assault weapons ban is beginning to pick up steam in Congress [The Hill].
  • Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally is drafting legislation to make domestic terrorism a federal crime [Politico].
  • The gunman in Dayton, Ohio shot 26 people in 32 seconds according to a timeline released by police [NYT].
  • The owner of online messaging site 8chan, which has become a notorious haven for racism and white supremacist content, says he will keep the site dark until after he meets with Congress [CNET].
  • An Ohio teenager who was arrested after posting threats to a federal officer online and discussed mass shootings targeting Planned Parenthood had 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo [BuzzFeed].

Hong Kong. Order was restored at Hong Kong's airport on Wednesday after thousands of anti-government protesters clashed with police in the main terminal on Tuesday [CNN].

  • Photos show more than 500 Chinese military vehicles along the border with Hong Kong [Bloomberg].


  • Former Gov. John Hickenlooper is considering dropping out of the Democratic presidential race to run for the Republican-held Senate seat in Colorado [NYT].
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer reached one of the two thresholds for inclusion in the September Democratic presidential debate [The Hill].

Trump admits tariffs hurt consumers. President Trump announced tariffs on some Chinese consumer goods, including cell phones, laptops and video games, would be delayed until December, which is after the Christmas shopping season [AP].

  • China is reporting weak economic data amid the growing economic conflict with the U.S. [WSJ].
  • President Trump reportedly asked Japan to buy a "huge amount" of U.S. agricultural goods [Reuters].


  • The Trump administration's top immigration official caused a stir on Tuesday offering a version of the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty that aligns more closely with the administration's latest rule to deny entry to immigrants who are likely to access public assistance [Politico].
  • Immigration officials are blaming "political rhetoric" for bullets fired through the windows of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in San Antonio [BBC].

Uh oh! U.S. mortgage debt hit a record level, pushing even higher than the 2008 peak [WSJ].

Extreme climate change is here. The Washington Post found 1 in 10 Americans are living in areas that are rapidly heating up due to global warming. Grand County, Utah was named as one of the most quickly warming areas in the U.S. [WaPo].

  • A coalition of 29 states is suing the Trump administration over the rollback of Obama-era restrictions on coal-burning power plants [NYT].

Tech. Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users voice chats on Facebook Messenger. The contractors were not told where the audio came from nor why they were transcribing the audio. The company says they have discontinued the practice [Time].


1784 - Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founded the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island.

1848 - The Oregon territory is organized by an act of Congress.

1893 - France becomes the first country to introduce motor vehicle registration.

1912 - U.S. Marines invade Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after Jose Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier.

1935 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act.

1945 - Japan accepts the Allied terms of surrender in World War II.

1975The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the longest-running release in film history, opens in London.

Policy News

Treasurer Damschen announces record-breaking $29.3 million in unclaimed cash returned to Utahns in FY2019
Utah State Treasurer David Damschen today announced that the Utah Unclaimed Property Division reunited a record-breaking $29.3 million in lost property with rightful owners in fiscal year 2019 (July 2018 June 2019).  
United Utah Party hosting event for millennial voters
The United Utah Party (UUP) is hosting a luau party for those 35 and under. Come meet new friends, enjoy great food and learn how you can make a difference in Utah.

More National Headlines

Wise Words


"One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician's objective. Election and power are." Cal Thomas

Lighter Side


"Fundraising it's as integral a part of American politics as low voter turnout and terrorizing babies," said Trevor Noah in a Daily Show segment on the blow-up over a Trump fundraiser hosted by Stephen Ross, an investor in the popular gymsEquinox and SoulCycle.

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