Utah’s Democrats Having Difficulty Finding a Candidate to Replace Matheson

Ever since Rep. Jim Matheson shocked the Utah political universe by announcing he will not run for re-election in 2014, Utah Democrats have been scrambling to find a replacement in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.
One name that has bubbled to the surface is Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams.

Don’t count on it.

McAdams tells UtahPolicy.com he’s flattered by the speculation, but he’s not interested in a Congressional run.

“Many people have encouraged me to run,” McAdams said. “Utah needs an independent voice in Washington that represents our values. I’m honored that so many consider me someone who could continue the legacy of leadership Jim Matheson gives.”

McAdams adds he doesn’t want to leave Salt Lake County for Washington’s hyper-partisan atmosphere.

“This week, I marked the beginning of my second year as mayor. I am pleased with the many accomplishments we’ve had in the last year, and feel I’ve got more I want to give locally. I thoroughly enjoy working in an environment where good ideas matter more than what party someone belongs to and in Salt Lake County, Republicans and Democrats work together to solve our problems and get things done. I love my job serving as mayor and plan to continue my work locally in Salt Lake County. Besides, I don’t think that old bipartisan orange school bus of mine would survive a trip to D.C.”

Another prominent Democrat who is getting some run as a possible candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District is Scott Howell.

Howell, who is already exploring a run in State Senate District 4 says he’s flattered that supporters think he might be able to win a race for Congress, but he’s leaning against it.

“I know there’s some polling going on in that district right now in order to find a candidate but, unless that data points overwhelmingly toward me running, I’m probably going to continue my campaign for State Senate.”

Other names generating some whispers among Utah’s Democrats are retiring state Senator Pat Jones and Salt Lake County Councilman Sam Granato.

Jones and Granato did not return a call seeking comment.