News roundup: Obama beats Romney ... in Halloween mask sales
Howell criticizes Hatch and Obama. Mormon fast for Romney. 40 days until Election Day.
Happy Thursday. OK, so there are countless pundits out there who will tell you their predictions for how the presidential race will turn out but this is a new one: When it comes to Halloween costumes, masks of President Barack Obama are handily outselling those of Mitt Romney. It may seem trivial, but costume shops say such sale numbers have been spot on with the winners of the last several elections. [HuffPost] [ABCNews]
Topping the news: Rep. Jim Matheson and his opponent, Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, get a little testy in their first debate. [Trib] [DNews] [UtahPolicy]
-> Utah Democrats sue the Republican-dominated Legislature in hopes to gain access to files pertaining to last year's redistricting. Senate President Michael Waddoups says the party's efforts are more about getting "some publicity." [Trib]
-> An email chain urges Mormons to fast and pray on behalf of Romney on Sunday in advance of the Oct. 3 presidential debate. [BuzzFeed] [Trib] [Fox13]
Tweet of the day: From @GovGaryJohnson: "Only one candidate will protect you from the zombie apocalypse, and it's not Obama or Romney."
Happy birthday: To state Sen. Allen Christensen and Wade Garrett, a senior adviser to Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
In other news: Democratic Senate candidate Scott Howell is critical of both Sen. Orrin Hatch and President Barack Obama on their handling of military and veteran affairs. [Trib] [DNews]
-> Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Mark Crockett says he has plans to reduce the county's spending by $40 million by implementing a more efficient use of the billion-dollar budget. [Trib]
-> Some Republican mayors in SL County say they've been threatened by Crockett's campaign for endorsing rival Ben McAdams. [UtahPolicy]
-> Matheson's claims that Love has and will raise taxes are only partially true. [Trib]
-> The Utah Transit Authority is one step closer to finalizing a $180 million loan that will benefit TRAX and FrontRunner rail projects. A public hearing will be held Oct. 24. [Trib]
-> A 25 percent increase in Orem's property tax the first raise since 1978 doesn't bode well with some of the city's residents. [DNews]
2012 watch: The presidential candidates share a vision of America as a dominant world presence but differ in approaches on how it should act. [WaPost]
-> Electing a Mormon to the White House would show progress, Ann Romney tells Jay Leno. [USAToday]
-> Romney and Obama both spent time in Ohio on Wednesday, a battleground state that has slowly gravitated toward the incumbent. [LATimes] [ABCNews]
-> While in the Buckeye State, Romney hammered on Obamacare, calling it a threat to freedom. [Politico] Romney later said, however, that the health care law he passed while governing Massachusetts is a perfect example of his "empathy." [LATimes]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on the funny, funny man named Romney. [Trib]
-> Now that he's in the race for good, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin landed two big endorsements, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. [HuffPost] [LATimes] [APviaWaPost]
-> The Federal Election Commission released summarized data of outgoing and incoming funds for the first 18 months of this campaign season as compared to 2004 and 2008's. BuzzFeed turned the data into five easy-to-read graphs worth checking out. [BuzzFeed]
-> Romney released a TV ad on Wednesday that reaches out to the working class, an effort to patch up last week's controversial "47 percent" remarks. [NYTimes]
-> Read Obama's full remarks to the U.N. General Assembly here: [WaPost].
Where are they?
Gov. Gary Herbert greets the ambassador to Germany, attends the annual Economic Development Corp. of Utah meeting, meets with the American Institute of Architects and finishes the day with a closed reception at the Leonardo.
SL Co. Mayor Peter Corroon welcomes the Chinese delegation from Nantou County and attends the annual EDCU meeting.
WVC Mayor Mike Winder meets a delegation from Taiwan, attends the annual EDCU meeting and then welcomes the USA Olympic gymnastics team to West Valley City.
SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends the Home Depot Foundation Celebration of Service, the Salt Lake Valley Conference of Mayors and the Mayors Education Summit.
President Barack Obama campaigns in Virginia Beach, Va.
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Thomas Burr and Betsy BlanchardTwitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/betsyblanchard