(KCPW News) Attorney Mike Lee narrowly beat opponent Tim Bridgewater in last night’s GOP Senate primary, with a roughly 4,000-vote lead. The two candidates remained within about three percentage points all night, narrowing finally to a roughly two point gap. Lee said he was apprehensive all evening because of the close race, but now “couldn’t be happier” to have a chance to represent the state in Washington D.C.
“As a Senator, I hope to limit the size, scope, reach and cost of the federal government, using the Constitution as my guide in trying to build a coalition of like-minded, Constitutionally-oriented, conservative Senators who will agree with me that it’s time to roll back the powers of our federal government,” he told KCPW.
Lee credited his volunteers spreading his message across the state for giving him an edge in the race. However, he actually lost to Bridgewater in Salt Lake County, and ten other counties as well.
Bridgewater conceded the race shortly after 11 p.m. He challenged Lee to reform immigration and the tax code, return power to the states, and fight what he described as “out of control” government spending. He then urged his supporters to back Lee.
“Together, Mike and I retired Senator Bennett to usher in a new generation of leaders,” he said. “We need people to go back to Washington, D.C., and make sure that the status quo is no longer acceptable.”
Both GOP candidates had Tea Party support and campaigned against Senator Bob Bennett, whose hopes for a fourth term ended at the GOP state convention in May. Lee now faces Democratic opponent Sam Granato in the general election this November.