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Opinion: Why we support Evan McMullin for the U.S. Senate

Former Democratic congressman Ben McAdams and former United Utah Party candidate Jonia Broderick are supporting the independent candidate vying to unseat Sen. Mike Lee.

Evan McMullin talks about his campaign to challenge Mike Lee for the Senate.
Evan McMullin talks about his campaign to challenge Mike Lee as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Evan McMullin is running for the U.S. Senate as a patriot, independent of both political parties, to replace Mike Lee. He has invited Democrats, independents, and Republicans to come together to end the partisan division that blocks progress on the major problems facing our nation and threatening our democracy.

We know he’s right, and that’s why we are coming together to support him. The dysfunction in Congress, the inability to compromise, and leaders who so frequently put politics ahead of the people they serve, are harming America’s greatest strength and enduring promise: opportunity for hard-working families to gain a brighter future.

We need solutions to challenges we face right here in Utah. We need solutions, like investments in transportation so Utah parents can sit around the dinner table with their family instead of sitting in a traffic jam. We need solutions to curb rising inflation so hard-working Utahns can afford a roof over their heads, food on their tables and health care for their families. We need solutions to improve Utah’s air quality and to ensure we have enough water for our future homes and businesses and an end to coughing on smoky air.

Democrats and Republicans in Washington are too busy with their partisan bickering to even notice.

As a former Democratic member of Congress and the United Utah Party candidate for Congress who ran against each other in 2020, we both served because we want to fix what’s broken in our nation’s capital. Unfortunately, the situation has only gotten worse.

People talk about going to Washington to get things done — fix our roads and bridges, improve education, keep us safe. But Washington changes people. It has changed Mike Lee. He went to the Senate with good intentions, but Lee is now part of the problem. His hyperpartisan rhetoric and allegiance to party leaders only contributes to the gridlock and dysfunction in our politics.

Utah deserves someone who won’t forget why we sent him there, someone who is free to look for good ideas and to work with anyone who helps solve problems facing our country.

It’s time to try something new.

Our founding fathers never intended for us to identify more strongly as Democrats or Republicans than we do as Americans. Political parties are meant to evolve, to be continuously checked by the citizens of this country. They must evolve with us, for the good of the nation while holding steadfastly to our founding ideals. We have a duty not only to hold our leaders accountable but our parties as well. It is time to put country, and Utah, before party.

We need new, courageous leadership to help us break the mold of what’s not working. That’s why we are joining together to support McMullin, an independent candidate for the United States Senate. We agree with Evan — our differences must be set aside to heal the divide and face what we are up against.

He is the right person to spark this movement. We know Evan. He put his life on the line fighting terrorists in the CIA. He’s a businessman and former adviser to congressional leaders. He’s a man of principle and character, and he’s needed in these troubled times.

Evan can win. His path is clear. If principled Democrats, independents and Republicans join together in this movement, McMullin will win this race and once again, Utah will set a critical example for the nation.

Our children and grandchildren must see that we can come together to solve problems. The vast majority of good citizens want to stand up for what’s right and good in this country. We must once again share as Utahns and as Americans the belief that what we have in common is greater than our differences. Evan McMullin understands that and will build on our strengths to help make our future brighter and our democracy stronger.

Ben McAdams served as a member of Congress, mayor of Salt Lake County and a Utah state senator. Jonia Broderick was a candidate for United States Congress. McAdams and Broderick ran against each other in 2020, where they developed a friendship and mutual respect.