McAdams raises $300,000 as potential 2020 opponents begin to test the waters

Ben McAdams 22

Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams raised just over $300,000 during the first fundraising quarter of the 2020 election cycle. He may need to raise much more than that as two Republican lawmakers are mulling challenges to McAdams next year.

Sources tell Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, and Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, are both seriously considering a run against McAdams in 2020.

McCay was reportedly mulling a bid for U.S. Senate in 2018 but opted against the campaign after Mitt Romney jumped in the race.

Neither McCay or Coleman would confirm they are considering a congressional run against McAdams, but they did not rule one out, either.

“I have a few things left to do before I hang up my cleats in Utah,” said McCay in a text message.

“If you’re asking if I’m happy to have a Democrat representing Utah in Congress, the answer is no,” said Coleman in a text message. “I’ve had some people talk to me. It’s an interesting challenge and I’ll give it some thought. The one thing I know for sure is that I will be working to get the 4th CD back in Republican hands, one way or the other.”

McAdams’ is being targeted for defeat by the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of Republicans in Congress. The NRCC is targeting 31 Congressional districts won by Donald Trump in 2016 but currently held by a Democrat. He is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress as he narrowly defeated Republican Mia Love by less than 700 votes in November. Donald Trump carried UT-04 in 2016 with 39.1% of the vote, but Mitt Romney won the district in 2012 with 67.2% of the vote.

Republican sources tell the NRCC has been recruiting extensively in the district looking for a candidate to take on McAdams. They’ve also been conducting public opinion polls testing name ID among voters in the district. Both McCay and Coleman were included in the polling.

McAdams’ campaign manager Andrew Roberts said McAdams’s strong fundraising showing is indicative of a wide base of support for the freshman Democrat.

“Utahns appreciate the Congressman’s votes to protect people with pre-existing conditions as well as the leadership he showed on our national debt crisis by introducing a balanced budget amendment,” said Roberts in a statement. “The outpouring of support for Ben’s re-election is a testament to the incredible work he’s done during his first 100 days in Washington.”

McAdams cash haul includes $203,000 in individual contributions and $104,000 from PACs and other campaign committees.