Democrat Jonathan Swinton Announces Challenge to GOP Senator Mike Lee in 2016

Sen. Mike Lee has a challenger in next year's election. Democrat Jonathan Swinton declared his candidacy on Monday morning.

Swinton, a marriage and family therapist by trade, announced his intention to run through a press release, vowing to end partisanship in Washington.

"I will not play into the divisive partisan norms in Washington," said Swinton in a statement. "I will work with my colleagues to find amicable solutions that address the needs of everyone and to create a culture of cooperation. The people of Utah deserve a senator who will actually represent them and who will work to solve complicated issues. Washington needs a relationship counselor, and that’s what I am.”

Swinton, almost completely unknown on the Utah political landscape before today has quite a hill to climb. According to the most recent FEC filings, Lee is sitting on nearly $1.2 million in campaign cash. 

Lee was widely expected to draw a challenger for the Republican nomination within his own party next year. But, potential Republican opponents like Josh Romney or Thomas Wright declined to run, leaving Lee with a fairly clear path.

Swinton's campaign website can be found here.