Matheson wins, officially. Romney can't escape the paparazzi. Utah's projected revenue growth triples.
Happy Wednesday. What do you do after spending essentially six years running for president only to come up short on Election Day? Go to Disneyland! Mitt Romney was spotted at the California amusement park on Tuesday and several people took to Twitter to post pictures of the ex-GOP candidate. [BuzzFeed]
Topping the news: Rep. Jim Matheson's 2,646-vote lead over Mia Love slimmed down to a 768-vote lead after absentee and provisional ballots were counted. GOP leaders question the disqualification of some ballots but the new margin is above a re-count threshold. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13]
-> Meanwhile, the final ballot count solidified Salt Lake County Mayor-elect Ben McAdams' lead. [Trib]
-> President Barack Obama's campaign manager saw former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as the president's biggest threat. [Trib]
From @daveweigel: "Whew, Twinkies aren't going away! My childhood memories are safe." *sees Elmo news* "OH COME ON"
Happy birthday: To SL County Councilman Arlyn Bradshaw and Rep. Rob Bishop staffer Adam Gardiner. On Saturday, send your wishes to Randy O'Hara and Sunday to Michael Mitchell.
Programming note: Political Cornflakes is taking a holiday break and will return to your computer screens and inboxes on Monday. Happy Turkey Day!
In other news: Could Rep. Jim Matheson have been able to topple Sen. Orrin Hatch has he run for the senate? [UtahDataPoints]
-> The state is projected to see $300 million in revenue growth next year, triple the estimate made in October, but Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart calls the boost "good news...not great news." [Trib]
-> Salt Lake County Council Republicans say they're open to a smaller tax increase than Mayor Peter Corroon recommended. [Trib]
-> Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said removing the July 1 start date of Utah's guest-worker law would be a "step backward," while other top Republicans insist pushing the date back would prevent a lawsuit. [Trib]
-> Playing catch-up: Spice and bath salt chemists are creating nearly identical products to those previously outlawed by using new chemicals not currently banned. Utah lawmakers will add these new chemicals to the state's list of controlled substances during the 2013 general session. [Trib]
-> A study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims that the Salt Lake City International Airport smoking rooms risk the health of non-smokers. [Trib]
-> Herbert cancels plans for a 60-person trade mission to Israel in December due to security risks amidst dangerous confrontations in Gaza. [DNews]
-> Paul Rolly weighs in on a philanthropic teen, email hackers and frugal Republicans. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley offers his take on Christmas' early arrival. [Trib]
The Fixies: The Washington Post's "The Fix" spent the last week awarding election superlatives. On Tuesday, North Dakota Sen.-elect Heidi Heitkamp was awarded the election season's "best candidate of 2012" following Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Monday award for "worst candidate of 2012." [WaPost]
Nationally: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's approval rate skyrocketed 17 points following his proactive Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. [WSJournal]
-> Only a North Carolina House race remains undecided. [FoxNews]
Where are they?