Former Representative Mike Kennedy is returning to the legislature – this time as a Senator. Kennedy got 54% of the vote on the first ballot in the special election to replace Senator Dan Hemmert, who will become the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
The special election, held entirely virtually and over the holidays, saw seven challengers, including Kennedy, Utah Valley magazine editor Jeanette Bennett, city councilwomen Staci Carroll and former city councilman David Shallenberger.
Kennedy campaigned on his experience as a physician to address the issues surrounding COVID-19, his previous legislative experience which has him ready to go to work with little ramp-up time, a focus on local control for education, and rebuilding the economy by rolling back excessive government spending.
He left the Utah legislature in to run against Mitt Romney in 2018, where he got 50.88% of the delegate vote, but lost in the primary when Romney picked up 73% of the vote.