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Becker adviser Ben McAdams chosen as new state senator

SALT LAKE CITY — Ben McAdams, a senior adviser for Salt Lake Mayor Ralph Becker, will become Utah's newest state senator.

McAdams won on the first ballot, receiving more than 60 percent of the votes from the Democratic delegates from Senate District 2 at a special meeting Saturday. He will complete the final year of Sen. Scott McCoy's term. He was one of four candidates vying for the post.

McAdams, 35, said he had visited with most of the delegates over the past two weeks after McCoy announced in early December he was resigning from the Senate to focus on his law career. He attributed the landslide win to that personal contact.

McAdams, who is married and the father of three children, told the delegates he would work for fairness and equality.

"I plan to be a visible ally for gay and transgendered Utahns," he said. "We are agents of change."

He also told delegates he would fight against efforts to make Utah a dumping ground for nuclear waste, support education and support ethics reform.

"Our district has a legacy of sending strong voices to the Legislature," he said. "I will stand my ground as we work to achieve common ground."

Other candidates vying for the post were Arlyn Bradshaw, Brian Moss and Mark Towner.