Situational Awareness – Thursday, September 3, 2020

Good Thursday morning. Are you ready for some politics?

We have a Trivia winner!

Last Monday’s question was: Name the relatively unknown Utah Republican congressional challenger who won a congressional seat on a fluke when his Democratic incumbent opponent was arrested for sex solicitation. The question also asked who his campaign manager was for his first re-election.

Several people got the name of the congressman: Dan Marriott. But only Doug Foxley got his re-election campaign manager: Mike Leavitt (actually, Leavitt himself emailed me to “acknowledge the painful fact that if you live long enough you’ll become the answer to a trivia question”).

I remember that 1978 race because it was one of the first political races I covered as a reporter for the Deseret News. It was a time when Democrats still won congressional races. Marriott was a freshman incumbent and expectations were low because he was elected on a fluke. His opponent was a smart and articulate law professor named Ed Firmage. I found it fascinating that instead of avoiding debates with the formidable Firmage, Leavitt encouraged Marriott to debate Firmage more than two dozen times, anywhere and everywhere. And, surprisingly, Marriott did very well in the debates. The final vote was 62-35 percent for Marriott. Leavitt, age 27, made a name for himself as a campaign manager and went on to manage other major campaigns.

So, congrats to Doug Foxley
–LaVarr Webb


21 days to the 1st Congressional District debate (9/24/2020)
25 days to the Utah gubernatorial debate (9/28/2020)
34 days to the Vice Presidential debate at the University of Utah (10/07/2020)
39 days to the 4th Congressional District debate (10/12/2020)
42 days to the 3rd Congressional District debate (10/15/2020)
46 days to the 2nd Congressional District debate (10/19/2020)
48 days to the Utah Attorney General debate (10/21/2020)
61 days to the 2020 election (11/3/2020)
139 days to inauguration day (01/20/2021)
144 days to the start of the 2021 Utah Legislature (1/25/2021)