McAdams makes it official. He’s challenging Mia Love in 2018

Salt Lake County Democratic Mayor Ben McAdams announced Wednesday night that he’s going to run against U.S. Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, next year in her 4th District.

McAdams, who is in the middle of his second, four-year term as mayor of Utah’s largest county, had confirmed previously that he was interested in the race.

Now he’s in.

McAdams sent the following statement to UtahPolicy:

20171018 McAdams Statement

It will be a “free” race for McAdams. If he loses he will still be the Salt Lake County mayor.

UtahPolicy published an analysis of McAdams’ chances just two weeks ago. You can read it here.

The Washington, D.C.-based Cook Political Report recently changed it’s Utah 4th District race match-up from “solidly Republican” to “leaning Republican” because of McAdams popularity in the county – which makes up the lion’s share of 4th District voters.

Still, Love has won impressive victories in her last two elections.

And with her fundraising abilities, she would still be the odds-on favorite to win next year.

Love’s campaign manager, Dave Hansen, sent an email statement after news broke that McAdams was running.

“Mia Love has, since her first election to Congress, represented and articulated the desires of the families of the fourth congressional district with distinction.  She has spent many hours listening to those she represents and has been a force for change and accomplishment in the House of Representatives.  That is where her focus is and should be right now — fulfilling her responsibilities as a member of Congress.  Mia never takes elections for granted and when the appropriate time for campaigning begins she will be fully prepared and fully engaged in the campaign, whoever her Democrat opponent may be, and is confident that the voters of our district will return her to Congress to continue fighting and working for us.”

You can expect a nasty, negative campaign, if not from McAdams and Love, then certainly by out-of-state PACs and special interests on both sides of the campaign.

When former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, beat Love in the then newly created 4th District in 2012 it was one of the most negative campaigns in Utah recent history.