GOP Rep. Mia Love behind Ben McAdams, but race undecided

Published 11-07-2018

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Democrat Ben McAdams was leading Republican Mia Love in his bid to flip a U.S. House district in deep-red Utah Tuesday night, but the marquee race was too close to call.

Both candidates said they were hopeful as they made brief appearances at election night parties.

"It is not over, but everything is looking good," McAdams said in a late-night speech. "I think it's going to take a few days before we know the outcome of the election, but if we win, this will be a win for people over politics."

The enthusiastic crowd, chanted, "Ben! Ben! Ben!"

His supporters smiled and struck the dab pose in front of a cardboard cutout of the Salt Lake County mayor and former state lawmaker at a Democratic election night party in Salt Lake City. Some attendees wore blue glitter beards and donned hats that said "Vote for sanity" as they hoped to ride a "blue wave" on election night.

Meanwhile, at Love's election night party south of Salt Lake City in Lehi, kids played with orange and white balloons that decorated the hotel conference room as their parents waited for results and prepared for a long night.

Love, the only black Republican woman in Congress, drew cheers from supporters when she made a quick appearance.

"It's going to be a long night. A very long night. It always is," Love said. "But we're here for it. We're up to the task and I believe that it's looking really good for us."

The state's other three Republican congressmen - Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart - won re-election bids.

Bishop soundly defeated Democrat Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason of the United Utah Party to win a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Love-McAdams r

Love, the only black Republican woman in Congress, drew cheers from supporters when she made a quick appearance.

"It's going to be a long night. A very long night. It always is," Love said. "But we're here for it. We're up to the task and I believe that it's looking really good for us."

The state's other three Republican congressmen - Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart - won re-election bids.

Bishop soundly defeated Democrat Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason of the United Utah Party to win a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Love-McAdams race triggered a seemingly endless stream of mailers and TV and radio ads with the two trading barbs over trustworthiness, campaign finances and health care.

Love had spent $5 million during the election cycle through Oct. 25, while McAdams spent $2.6 million, according to Federal Election Commission data.

McAdams touted himself as a moderate in hopes of appealing to independent voters who are narrowly outnumbered by Republican voters in the 4th Congressional District. GOP voters outnumber Democrats nearly 3-1 in the district that includes several politically mixed suburbs of Salt Lake City.

He was hoping to siphon some GOP votes while riding Democratic enthusiasm this midterm election to do what Doug Owens couldn't do in 2014 and 2016: defeat Love.

The district was held until 2014 by Democrat Jim Matheson, who decided not to run a

The state's other three Republican congressmen - Rob Bishop, John Curtis and Chris Stewart - won re-election bids.

Bishop soundly defeated Democrat Lee Castillo and Eric Eliason of the United Utah Party to win a ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Love-McAdams race triggered a seemingly endless stream of mailers and TV and radio ads with the two trading barbs over trustworthiness, campaign finances and health care.

Love had spent $5 million during the election cycle through Oct. 25, while McAdams spent $2.6 million, according to Federal Election Commission data.

McAdams touted himself as a moderate in hopes of appealing to independent voters who are narrowly outnumbered by Republican voters in the 4th Congressional District. GOP voters outnumber Democrats nearly 3-1 in the district that includes several politically mixed suburbs of Salt Lake City.

He was hoping to siphon some GOP votes while riding Democratic enthusiasm this midterm election to do what Doug Owens couldn't do in 2014 and 2016: defeat Love.

The district was held until 2014 by Democrat Jim Matheson, who decided not to run again.

Love has been considered a rising GOP star since her victory that year over Doug Owens.

Love has been stressing her independence from President Donald Trump as she seeks a third term in the conservative state where many voters remain uncomfortable with the president's demeanor and comments.

She has touted tax cuts as a benefit of a Republican House majority while working to tie McAdams to national Democrats.

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This story has been corrected to show that Mia Love did not defeat Jim Matheson in 2014. Matheson opted not to run again, and Love defeated Democrat Doug Owens.

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Associated Press writers Tiffany Caldwell in Lehi, Utah, and Emily Anderson in Salt Lake City contributed to this story.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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