UTAH, Nov. 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Rep. Ben McAdams conceded the closely contested race for Utah’s 4th Congressional District to Republican challenger Burgess Owens Monday afternoon.
The vote count, with 99% reporting, stands at 47.5% or 177,170 votes to Owens and 46.9% or 175,031 votes to McAdams, according to the Salt Lake County elections office. That’s a difference of 2,139 votes.
McAdams held a virtual press conference at 3:30 p.m. Monday from Washington D.C., following the latest update from the elections office.
McAdams was elected to Congress in 2018, narrowly defeating two-term Republican incumbent Mia Love, and assumed office in January 2019. Before that, he served as mayor of Salt lake County from 2013 from 2019.
McAdams told assembled reporters:
“I am honored to have served Utahns in the state legislature, as Salt Lake County mayor, and in Congress. I have done my best to thoughtfully and independently serve every citizen regardless of their political party or where they reside. I’m very proud of the service that I and my office have provided and of all that has been accomplished during the past 12 years for Utahns.
“Today I have called Burgess Owens to congratulate him on winning this hard-fought and close race. My campaign was centered around a rejection of extremism and the need for leaders who will put the needs of the people they represent before any political party. I am deeply humbled by the support I received from so many Utahns who share that vision and want them to know that while we did not prevail, I remain committed to that ideal.
“I will continue working hard until the new Congress is sworn in and I will do my part to ensure a smooth transition and commit to doing everything I can to help Burgess Owens succeed for the benefit of Utahns. I’ll continue to be a voice for hard-working Utah families and will work diligently to keep the lines of communication open with Burgess Owens.
“I love this country. I love the fact that both the great-grandson of a slave — and the son of a single mother elementary school teacher — can run for office in this great country. Neither of us comes from money or power. We have differences in political philosophy and how we approach public service, but we both love our country.
“With the election behind us, I see a need to come together and bridge our divides. I worry that extreme elements of both political parties interfere with our ability to find agreement on issues that matter to hard-working families. I fear deliberate misinformation is too often unchecked and seen as truth in our society. This is a time for all of us to be engaged in civic affairs and to sort fact from fiction the best way we can.
“My faith and my upbringing taught me to do what’s right even if it is difficult or unpopular. I have been criticized by the left for my moderate position and for opposing Nancy Pelosi, and by the right for holding President Trump to account for his wrongdoing. But I have always tried to put principle ahead of politics, and put Utah first for the good of our families, our state and our country.
“Despite the outcome of this election, I am blessed. I have a loving, supportive wife and a beautiful family. I live in the greatest state and country in the world. I have met — and have been inspired by — so many incredible Utahns who are making a difference in their community. The best part of this job has been listening to the ideas and concerns of so many, and doing my best to support and help them. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve.”
McAdams, 45, also took questions from reporters. He was asked whether he would consider running again.
“It’s too soon for me to think about that,” he said. “This was a hard-fought campaign, and Burgess Owens is now going to have an opportunity to serve Utahns and what I’m going to do over the course of this transition is make sure he has the support that he needs to set him up to be successful because that’s what the people of Utah deserve.”
He was also asked what his future plans are, to which he replied: “I haven’t, right now, honestly, there’s a lot of work to do as we work through this transition, we have stuff we want to accomplish, over the next six weeks as far as people who have come to our office seeking help, and we’re trying to get as much done as we can, before the transition as far as that case work that we do, so my priority is on working hard through the end, and then working to support the people who have supported for me for so long, to make sure they land on their feet.”