‘The Rundown’: Evan McMullin makes it official. Launches Senate bid against Mike Lee

Former presidential candidate is running for U.S. Senate as independent

"The Rundown" logo

Good Tuesday morning Utah! Thanks for reading “The Rundown”.

📬 My inbox is open for you! Keep those story ideas, news tips and thoughts about the news coming. Send me an email or find me on Twitter @SchottHappens.

Get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. Sign up for free here.

Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin speaks at a rally in Draper, Friday, Oct 21, 2016 (Alex Gallivan/Special to the Tribune)

Evan McMullin officially launches his U.S. Senate bid

Former independent candidate Evan McMullin officially jumped into the U.S. Senate race in Utah on Tuesday morning.

The Tribune’s Robert Gehrke scooped Monday that the one-time independent presidential candidate was readying a run for Senate. McMullin made it official with a press release and launch video on Tuesday morning.

“Our politics are broken, and it’s putting our country in danger. Washington has left us so polarized that we’re failing to overcome major problems facing the nation and it has to change,” McMullin said in the press release.

He also makes it clear he’s targeting two-term Republican Sen. Mike Lee while running as an independent candidate.

“I’m not running as a Republican or a Democrat. I’m running as a patriot, as an American committed to defending our nation and changing our politics for the better,” McMullin said.

The former CIA officer captured just over 21% of the vote in Utah when he ran for president as an independent in 2016.

Here’s what you need to know for Tuesday morning

➡️ Mayor Erin Mendenhall temporarily bans new homeless shelters in Salt Lake City for the next six months. the move is aimed at blocking a new overflow shelter in the Ballpark neighborhood. [Tribune]

💉 The Utah Legislature held a packed hearing to get public input on the topic of vaccine mandates for private businesses. While most attendees pleaded with lawmakers to ban vaccine mandates, it appears the state will rely on court action to block vaccine requirements. [Tribune]

💉 Johnson and Johnson asks the FDA to authorize booster shots for its COVID-19 vaccine. [CNN]

  • The Pfizer vaccine is still 90% effective against hospitalization and death after 6 months. [WaPo]

  • Full FDA approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine did not improve vaccination rates by much. [CNN]

⚖️ A lawsuit is challenging Utah’s cash bail system claiming the process is unconstitutional. [Tribune]

👀 Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the FBI to work with local leaders to address a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against teachers and school board members. [Politico]

😱 Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down for several hours on Monday. [Protocol]

⭐️ The Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists who helped advance understanding of complex systems like global warming. [NYT]

Tuesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • To get help buying a house in Utah, how about sharing the equity you’ll earn? [Tribune]

  • Man pleads guilty in 2010 slaying of Utah bookseller Sherry Black. [Tribune]

  • See where Google has bought 300 acres in Utah. [Tribune]

  • 22-year-old Idaho man collapses and dies while running St. George Marathon. [Tribune]

  • Utah Jewish federation condemns use of syringe swastika at anti-vaccine protest at Governor’s Mansion. [Deseret News]

  • Snapchat video reveals events leading up to shooting of Aaron Lowe. [ABC 4]


  • After his wife was put on a ventilator, a husband faced an agonizing decision: Should he do whatever it took for her to wake up? [Tribune]

  • Utah reports 3,300 new coronavirus cases. [Tribune]

  • Front-line fatigue: Unseen and unappreciated, some respiratory therapists hit mental breaking point. [Deseret News]

  • Doctors grow frustrated over COVID-19 denial, misinformation. [KUTV]

  • Who’s eligible for COVID-19 booster shots? [Fox 13]


  • Is Cedar City’s growth coming at expense of rural Utah? [Tribune]


  • Intermountain Power Project’s switch from coal to hydrogen could power rural Utah job growth. [Tribune]

Local news

  • Moab acting chief promises improvement after handling of body camera footage. [KUTV]


  • Opinion: Make sure Utah’s minorities aren’t excluded in new political boundaries. [Deseret News]