State Sen. Daniel Hemmert is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination to face Democrat Ben McAdams in Utah’s 4th Congressional District next year.
Hemmert confirmed to UtahPolicy.com that he is abandoning his bid for Congress. Hemmert says he decided to pull out of the race because of business and personal considerations.
“Over the last few months, I’ve been deeply humbled by the tremendous support I’ve received from fellow Utahns who, like me, believe the 4th Congressional District needs a representative who will fight for our conservative Utah values in Washington,” said Hemmert in an email. “I’ve decided that rather than run for Congress, I’m going to focus instead on my family, our small businesses, our employees who work so hard day in, day out and my continued service to our neighbors who live in the 14th District of Utah’s State Senate.”
Hemmert tells UtahPolicy.com he plans to run for re-election to the Utah Senate in 2020.
With Hemmert’s exit, there are five Republicans left in the field:
- Former NFL player Burgess Owens
- State Rep. Kim Coleman
- Utah Republican activist Kathleen Anderson
- Former KSL talk show host Jay McFarland
- Chris Biesinger
- Army veteran Jay Molnar
United Utah Party candidate Jonia Broderick has also declared for the race.
McAdams is seen as one of the most vulnerable Democratic members of Congress heading into the 2020 election. He narrowly defeated Republican Mia Love in 2018 by fewer than 700 votes in a district that is considered one of the “most Republican” in the nation.
Hemmert was leading the campaign cash race, pulling in more than $400,000 in the most recent fundraising quarter, but $175,000 of that came from his personal piggy bank. McAdams has more than $1 million in his campaign war chest.
McAdams has the highest approval rating among Utah’s congressional delegation. 54% of voters in Utah’s 4th District approve of his job performance, while just 30% disapprove.