Happy Thursday! Former vice president and now-presidential contender Joe Biden had a good night at the second round of Democratic debates. But it wasn’t a stellar night. While much of the focus by the other nine candidates on the stage was on Biden, he wasn’t able to capitalize on the moment as he defended his long political career from several newcomers. [Politico]

Topping the news: Utah lieutenant governor and gubernatorial candidate Spencer Cox is polling far ahead of his potential opponents among Republicans with former House Speaker Greg Hughes and U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman trailing. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The state denied appeals from six companies that applied to grow medical cannabis in Utah but failed to make the cut in the scramble over a handful of cultivation licenses. The six companies are among the 81 who applied to grow. [Trib] [FOX13]

Tweets of the day: From @blrshephard: “I am this close to asking the 2020 candidates why they think they’re worth me missing the bachelorette finale.”

-> From @eitanhersh: “If political parties had designed presidential nomination rules to entertain political hobbyists rather than to vet future presidential candidates, they would’ve done it exactly like they ended up doing it.”

-> From @itschappy: “My new (least) favorite thing about the election cycle appears to possibly be ‘let’s find a crappy part of a representative’s district and make broad assumptions based on that.’ We could find terrible parts of almost any city in America, including Ogden even - which sounds crazy!”

Happy Birthday: Rachel Stoll, a medical cannabis activist, and Jennifer Fox Young.

Trib Talk: On this week’s ‘Trib Talk’ podcast, Tribune education reporter Courtney Tanner and Royce Van Tassell, executive director of the Utah Association of Public Charter Schools, join host Benjamin Wood to discuss the recent closure of a Murray charter school amid allegations of financial mismanagement. [Trib]

Also in the news: Several of the Salt Lake City mayoral candidates have proposed plans to bring tech companies to Salt Lake City. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The new homeless resource center scheduled to open in South Salt Lake is being delayed again, this time as a result of a $13 million past-due bill on construction and a failure to pay subcontractors. [Trib] [KSL]

-> A new poll from the Salt Lake Chamber shows Democratic State Sen. Jim Dabakis as the front-runner in the Salt Lake City mayoral race, but Dabakis and other candidates question the poll’s validity. [DNews]

-> Cartoonist Pat Bagley depicts medicaid in Utah [Trib]

Nationally: 10 candidates running to be the Democratic presidential nominee competed in the second round of presidential debates Tuesday evening. [NYTimes]

-> President Trump ordered the military to punish prosecutors who tried a Navy SEAL charged but acquitted of war crimes in the death of a captured Islamic State fighter in Iraq. [NYTimes]

-> The Senate confirmed nine of Trump’s judicial nominees in a rush before jetting for its August break. [Politico]

-> Protestors speaking out against the death of Eric Garner, who was choked to death by a New York Police officer, were removed from the Democratic debate after shouting loud enough to halt the forum. [NYTimes]

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