After capturing his party’s nomination, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will still face opposition in a June 28 primary.

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite a rousing affirmation by GOP convention delegates Saturday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will face two challengers in the June 28 Republican primary.

After a brief speech, Lee captured 71 percent of 3690 delegate votes, securing the GOP nomination to retain his seat in the Senate.

But Lee will still compete in the primary against two challengers who qualified for the ballot by collecting signatures. They are former state legislator Becky Edwards and business leader Ally Isom.

Lee drew applause from the convention delegates when he said “… the price to live in Joe Biden’s American is way, way too high.”

After drawing loud boos from convention delegate after accusing Lee of failing to keep his campaign promises, Edwards said she believes that issue and others will nevertheless resonate with voters.

A future where “asking pointed questions is more important pointing fingers” is important to Utahns, she said.

Edwards captured 12 percent of delegate votes, while Isom received just under 10 percent.

Isom told delegates that Lee’s rhetoric is contributing to Capitol Hill gridlock.

“We need to reclaim what makes us Republicans,” she said. “Reject the fear. Reject the anger.”

Even if he is triumphant in the GOP primary, Lee will still face a challenger who is gathering momentum in the November election.

At the Democratic gathering at Cottonwood High School, the unthinkable happened. Independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin hijacked the convention.

Signaling that Democrats are so desperate to beat Lee that they are willing to withhold their nomination from Kael Weston to do it, insurgent delegates voted to back McMullin in November.

In a first for the Democratic Party in Utah, the motion to support McMullin passed by a 188 vote margin out of 1376 ballot cast.

McMullin is a former operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, a Republican advisor and ran an unsuccessful presidential bid as an independent in 2016.

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