National Republicans recruiting heavily to find 2020 opponent for McAdams

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National Republicans are recruiting heavily in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, trying to find an opponent for freshman Democrat Ben McAdams in 2020.

UT04 is one of 31 House districts nationwide won by President Donald Trump in 2016 but held by a Democrat. McAdams may be one of the most vulnerable Democrats as he barely defeated Mia Love by 694 votes in 2018. The district has a natural R+13 lean and it’s rated by the Cook Political Report as the 91st “most Republican” in the nation. It’s no wonder that Republicans are trying to find a candidate to take on McAdams. One veteran political operative told that national Republicans view UT-04 as their top target in 2020.

So far, both State Senator Dan McCay, R-Riverton, and State Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, are considering running against McAdams, but they’re not the only candidates on the radar of national Republicans.

GOP sources tell the National Republican Congressional Committee, the campaign arm of House Republicans, has been meeting with several potential candidates in Utah ahead of the 2020 election. The NRCC has reportedly been pitching potential candidates with promises of financial support once the party selects a nominee to take on McAdams. One source said that financial support could top $5 million in independent spending to defeat McAdams.

One of those potential candidates being courted by the NRCC is Republican Salt Lake County Councilwoman Aimee Winder Newton. Sources tell Winder Newton was approached as a potential candidate but she rebuffed their advances, preferring to focus on a run for governor in 2020.

McCay confirmed to he has met with representatives from NRCC, but says he has not yet decided whether he’ll run against McAdams.

“There are more than 500 days left until election day 2020,” said McCay. “If I jump into the race, I’m confident I’ll have the resources and support to be successful.”

If he decides to challenge McAdams, McCay would be running off-cycle from his Utah Senate seat, and would not need to give up his office to mount a campaign. Coleman would have to leave the Utah House if she decided to run against McAdams. is also told that the NRCC may have reached out to Cedar Hills Mayor Jenny Rees as a possible challenger for McAdams in 2020. Utah County GOP Chair Stewart Peay, who unsuccessfully ran in the 2017 3rd Congressional District special election, also declined to run against McAdams according to GOP sources.