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‘The Rundown’: Ken Ivory wants to return to the Utah Legislature

Former lawmaker running to replace Rep. Steve Christiansen who resigned last week.

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(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Ken Ivory asks some questions about the sweeping tax overhaul bill during it's first public hearing in a committee meeting, Friday, March 1, 2019.

The return of Ken Ivory?

Former Rep. Ken Ivory is angling to return to Utah’s Capitol Hill.

Rep. Steve Christiansen’s sudden resignation last week means Republican delegates in HD47 will select his replacement for the 2022 session. Ivory, who resigned from that seat in 2019, has informed Salt Lake County GOP leaders he is a candidate to replace Christiansen.

Ivory resigned from the Legislature in August of 2019 to take a job with a company that got a $700,000 state contract that he helped shepherd through the Legislature before he stepped down.

During his previous time in the Legislature, Ivory argued for states to take more control over their public lands. He had ethics complaints filed against him claiming his work with the American Lands Council, a nonprofit he started to advocate for transferring public lands to the states, scammed counties into giving money to that organization.

Delegates in HD47 picked Christiansen to replace Ivory after he resigned.

Sources tell “The Rundown” Ivory is already reaching out to delegates to garner support ahead of the special election.

So far, the other declared candidate in the race is Nathan Brown, who lost the GOP primary to Christiansen last year by 834 votes.

The special election will be on November 15, which means the HD47 seat will be vacant during the special session for redistricting. Candidates can jump into the race until November 13.


Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

Utah

🚨 Before he resigned suddenly last week, Rep. Steve Christiansen was seeking to get his hands on the personal information of thousands of Utah voters. It appears he would give that information to a far-right group aiming to go door-to-door to match voters with votes looking for election fraud. [Tribune]

🚨 The Tribune’s Robert Gehrke reports Republicans in the Utah Senate got a preview look at their new district maps, including partisan breakdown. That was before the independent redistricting commission had finished its work. [Tribune]

💉 Utah joins several other states in a lawsuit against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees of government contractors. [Tribune]

🗳 Tomorrow is election day in Utah. Ranked-choice voting could delay the results in several cities. [Tribune]

  • Mysterious text messages are roiling a city council race in Draper. [Tribune]

  • Policing is the top issue for voters in Salt Lake City’s District 5 contest. [Tribune]

🏛 Rep. Adam Kinzinger visited Utah last week. He spoke exclusively to The Tribune about why Republicans have become so enthralled with former President Donald Trump, the January 6 investigation, and political tribalism. [Tribune]

🥾 Utah wants to lure the Outdoor Retailers Trade Show back to Salt Lake City, but there are questions whether the political environment in the Beehive State is to the liking of organizers. [Tribune]

🌎 Rep. John Curtis and his Conservative Climate Caucus are heading to Glasgow for the COP26 climate talks this week. [Tribune]

🤦‍♂️ Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign mistakenly said she represents Utah in her FEC disclosure filings. [Forbes]

National

➡️ MUST READ: The FBI and other law enforcement agencies missed warnings while others failed to pass along crucial information ahead of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. [WaPo]

🏛 The House is planning to vote on a pair of spending bills on Tuesday. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure package and a $1.75 trillion social program proposal are critical parts of President Joe Biden’s agenda. [CNN]

📊 President Biden’s job approval drops to just 42% in a new survey. [NBC News]

🗳 The gubernatorial race in Virginia is heading down to the wire. That could spell big trouble for Democrats. [WSJ]

⚖️ The Supreme Court will hear a pair of challenges to Texas near-total ban on abortions. [NYT]

⚖️ A challenge to New York’s gun permit law is on the Supreme Court docket on Wednesday, which could lead to a significant expansion of gun rights. [AP]

✈️ American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend amid staffing troubles and bad weather. [WaPo]

💉 More than 24,000 municipal employees in New York City did not get vaccinated against COVID ahead of today’s deadline. Those employees will be placed on unpaid leave, and the city is bracing for staffing shortages. [Bloomberg]

🦠 COVID-19 has killed more than 5 million people worldwide. [CNN]


(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Evan McMullin in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

Kinzinger endorses McMullin in U.S. Senate race

Rep. Adam Kinzinger visited Utah last week to do a little fundraising for his PAC and endorse Evan McMullin, who is running for the U.S. Senate as an independent.

“He’s somebody who loves his country, and I think we’re at a moment right now in time where people are putting their loyalty to a party over the loyalty to the country,” Kinzinger said.

Kinzinger and McMullin have known each other for several years, beginning when McMullin was a staffer on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Kinzinger’s endorsement is significant if only for his role on the House committee investigating the January 6 attack. Kinzinger has been one of the loudest advocates of getting to the bottom of the attempted insurrection that day and what role former President Donald Trump played.

That’s a stark contrast to Sen. Mike Lee, who McMullin will likely face next November. We recently learned Lee knew about the memo from Trump’s lawyer John Eastman laying out how the 2020 election could be overturned but failed to say anything. Even knowing that, and following the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, Lee voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment trial.

Endorsements usually don’t decide who wins or loses an election, but they help candidates build a narrative. If McMullin decides to make 1/6 an issue, this could draw a bright line.

(Read my exclusive one-on-one interview with Kinzinger here)


Monday morning’s Utah news roundup

Utah

  • Salt Lake City convention hotel is pushing skyward. Will conventions bounce back? [Tribune]

  • Coal miner that failed to restore farmlands will be shut down if it doesn’t fix its ‘fraudulent’ bond, regulators say. [Tribune]

  • State eyes northern Utah valley to store Bear River water. [Tribune]

  • Utah hospitals collect used crutches, walkers and canes in response to supply-chain problems. [Tribune]

  • Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas retires, plans return to private sector. [Tribune]

  • After COVID, Utah employees will see more flexibility in how and where they work. [Tribune]

  • Some Utah resorts already have enough snow to open — but do they have the employees? [Deseret News]

  • Utah small businesses share stories of struggle with governor. [Fox 13]

  • Nearly 20 years later, study examines Olympic impacts on Park City community. [KPCW]

COVID-19

  • Amid COVID-19, childhood vaccinations have drastically declined in Utah. [Tribune]

  • Children who get COVID-19 can suffer severe illness, leading Utah doctor warns. [Tribune]

  • Unified Fire captain dies from complications of COVID-19. [Tribune]

  • More children being hospitalized with COVID-19, Utah doctor says, as vaccine is authorized for ages 5-11. [Deseret News]

Education

  • Utah universities aren’t graduating computer science students fast enough for Silicon Slopes. That could soon change. [Tribune]

  • Utahns top priority for budget surplus? Spend it on education, poll says. [Deseret News]

  • Minnesota firm to pay Utah State Board of Education $3.3 million after tech issues botched student testing. [Deseret News]

Religion

  • Tribune religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack to lead international journalism group. [Tribune]

  • Top female Latter-day Saint leaders visit refugees in northern Iraq. [Tribune]

Opinion

  • Ben Anderson: Utah should focus on fair maps, not political games. [Tribune]

  • Mitt Romney isn’t evil but that doesn’t mean he’s right about taxes, George Pyle writes. [Tribune]

  • Opinion: Here’s why Utah’s lawmakers should adopt the independent commission’s political maps. [Deseret News]


🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.

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