Some elections matter more than others. Utah’s ongoing Senate race matters a lot.

Of course, that is a predictable sentiment from a group of Utah congressmen. But this is not only a time of unprecedented disinformation, misinformation and political tension. It is also a time when one single vote in the U.S. Senate can alter the very direction of our nation.

That is why we believe it is necessary to make some clarifications regarding the legislative record of our colleague, Sen. Mike Lee, and the political agenda of his opponent, Evan McMullin

Simply put, Lee is not the man, legislator or politician McMullin would make him out to be. 

McMullin is committed to labeling Lee as an “extremist” who legislates from the fringe and sympathizes with the likes of Vladimir Putin. In fact, McMullin has made these blatant misrepresentations the cornerstone of his campaign.

What Utah independent Evan McMullin says about Sen. Mike Lee in major campaign speech
Opinion: As your senator, I’ve always defended federalism and the Constitution

But such hyperbole won’t save his campaign; Utahns will see that McMullin’s mudslinging does not match reality.

The irony is plain and undeniable — McMullin promises to “bridge the partisan divide” but in the same breath hurls insults and makes outlandish accusations.

Lee, on the other hand, continues to operate as a serious legislator who fights for the values of our great state: free enterprise, equal opportunity, freedom from big government and the protection of constitutional rights.

That certainly doesn’t read as the doctrine of an “extremist.” 

As to McMullin’s tired, empty claims that our friend in the Senate is a “partisan” extremist, Lee’s bipartisan legislative record speaks for itself.

Lee works tirelessly to find common ground with our colleagues across the aisle, whether it be through his FORMULA Act, the 2017 expanded child tax credit, the largest criminal justice reform in decades or reforms limiting the federal surveillance of American citizens, to name a few.

Sen. Mike Lee’s bill addressing the formula crisis just passed the Senate
Evan McMullin calls on Sen. Mike Lee to back bipartisan gun safety proposal
Sens. Mike Lee, Marco Rubio push for expanded child tax credit in reform plan

Perhaps most insulting, though, are McMullin’s attacks on Lee’s commitment to Utah. We can all attest — having seen it firsthand on countless occasions — to Lee’s enthusiasm when meeting with local leaders and learning local issues. He is a champion of protecting the constitutional rights of Utahns, and we are lucky to have his voice and expertise on this all-important issue.

These realities do not align with the divisive, partisan extremist who McMullin has invented as his political opponent. Lee is a proactive, thoughtful legislator who is eager to negotiate and solve our nation’s many pressing challenges.

Opinion: Why I believe Mike Lee will ‘fight for us’ if reelected

And it is this very reason we find it necessary to write. McMullin’s flailing rhetoric is a distraction from an all-important reality: He is backed and funded by Democrats; he would keep Congressional Democrats in power; and he would promote and prolong President Joe Biden’s agenda.

McMullin’s party — Democrats in Washington — have been governing under one-party rule for nearly two years. Under this majority rule, they have pushed the most radical domestic agenda in decades with the narrowest majorities in Congress.

View Comments

This agenda includes the largest tax increase in over 50 years; a spending blowout unseen in our nation’s history and subsequently historic inflation rates; the Green New Deal disguised as “infrastructure”; a packing of the Supreme Court; the dismantling of American energy security; the defunding of police; and the teachings of critical race theory and gender identity to our nation’s children.

That is the party of McMullin, and that certainly reads as the doctrine of a party operating at its extreme.

We do not believe that is an agenda the majority of Utahns support. And we know that is the type of radical agenda Lee is committed to fighting, not supporting.

(Clarification: An earlier version of this op-ed stated that Evan McMullin is “backed and funded by the Democrat Party.” That has been changed to “Democrats.”)

How close is the Senate race between Mike Lee and Evan McMullin in Utah? Here’s the latest poll
Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.