What’s being called an “extraordinary” decision was made by the Utah Democratic Party this week, after it voted in an unprecedented move to remove its own Democratic candidate from the running against incumbent Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in favor of independent candidate Evan McMullin.
According to the Washington Examiner, the vote to remove Democratic candidate Kael Weston from the ballot marked the first time in the state’s Democratic Party history. The vote tally in favor of removing Weston came in at 782-594.
Even more bizarre is that Weston was uncontested in his bid to oust Lee in November, and only needed to be formally advanced to that arena by the Utah Democratic Party at its recent convention to officially become the nominee.
Not surprisingly, Weston didn’t take the news well. He released a statement on the historic decision, and accused the state’s Democratic Party of making thousands of Utah voters now feel as if their votes no longer count.
“Whatever happens, it’s incredibly important that the Utah Democratic Party understands there are a lot of voters in this state who right now feel like their vote doesn’t matter,” Weston said.
He added: “This election does matter. Mike Lee is beatable, and how we beat him is not going to take just some of us but all of us.”
McMullin, on the other hand, was quite pleased with the vote, and took the high road in acknowledging Weston’s efforts and the help of his supporters in their overall effort to oust Sen. Lee from power.
Today we took an important step in building a new coalition of Democrats, Republicans and independents to change our broken politics. I’m grateful for the support of Democratic delegates who voted to join us and for Kael Weston’s honorable campaign. Onward!https://t.co/iMUZeQuOdl
— Evan McMullin 🇺🇸 (@EvanMcMullin) April 23, 2022
McMullin, a former Republican, ran unsuccessfully against former President Donald Trump in the race to be the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.