Nov 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Republican Burgess Owens wins closely watched House race in Utah

Burgess Owens speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in June 2019.

Burgess Owens speaking before the House Judiciary Committee in June 2019.

Republican Burgess Owens, a former NFL player, has defeated first-term incumbent Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams in Utah's 4th Congressional District, per AP.

Why it matters: Owens has appeared on podcasts and Youtube channels related to the far-right online QAnon conspiracy theory and said he thinks the conspiracy theory is worth taking a look at, though he also said that accusations of him supporting QAnon are “silly," NBC News reports.

Context: QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that purports without proof that posts by an anonymous internet user from within the federal government are alluding to a secret war that the "deep state" is waging against President Trump.

What they're saying: "Today, I called Burgess Owens to congratulate him on winning this hard-fought and close race," McAdams said during a virtual news conference on Monday, per the Salt Lake Tribune.

  • "My campaign was centered around a rejection of extremism and the need for leaders that will put the needs of the people they represent before any political party. I’m deeply humbled by the support I received from so many Utahns who shared that vision and want you to know that while we did not prevail, I remain committed to that ideal," McAdams added.
  • Owens later tweeted, "I received a call from [Ben McAdams] he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to serve #UT04 and his commitment to a smooth transition. My sincere thanks to him for both. Thank you my fellow Utahns, I am committed to have an open ear to serve you. Thank you for the opportunity."

Of note: Owens accepted at least $135,000 in campaign contributions that were over the legal donor limit in the final stretch of the election, the New York Times reports.

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