In his bid for for Sen. Bob Bennett’s (R-Utah) open seat in Utah, Mike Lee is known as an impassioned debater over interpreting the Constitution. His passion and knowledge began at a very early age as the son of a former U.S. solicitor general. No surprise that Lee is recognized for his vast knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, less taxes, more freedom, a good sense of humor and, importantly, his love for family.
The Tea Party Express has joined FreedomWorks and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) by endorsing Mike Lee in the race for the open seat. With the primary in the final days, this race pits both Lee and Bridgewater against Bennett, who, after publicly mulling over then passing on a write-in in bid, endorsed businessman Tim Bridgewater, the winner of the state convention.
On Tuesday, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who has endorsed Lee, sent an email to supporters asking them to give money to Lee to help fend off dirty attacks. The attacks were sparked, in part, after a new television ad from Lee that questioned Bridgewater capabilities, earmarks, support for sending tax dollars overseas and support of the Obama stimulus bill.
Many believe there is little difference between the ideology of Lee and Bridgewater on the issues, while the campaign in the state has been defined, occasionally, by mudslinging. The backing of the Tea Party Express and other conservative activists support Lee’s strong voice on constitutional issues, not being a Washington insider, limited government and his youth. If elected, Lee, 39, would would beat out Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio, as the youngest if the two prevail in November.
In May, Utah Republican delegates dumped U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, and vented their anti-incumbent fervor that is still sustained since that day. Based upon Utah Republican party rules, the losing candidate in the convention cannot run even if they are an incumbent. During the convention, Bennett did not even make it into the final round of voting. The two survivors were entrepreneur Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, who finished first and second, respectively.
As Bennett throws his weight toward Bridgewater, Lee’s campaign manager Jonathan Reid voices many conservatives beliefs that the anticipated Bennett endorsement shows that Lee is the only true conservative. “Such an endorsement from Senator Bennett further delineates this race as a choice between D.C. business-as-usual or for Mike Lee, who has proven his commitment to principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility,” Reid said. “I expect this endorsement will more fully energize and mobilize Mike Lee’s conservative grass-roots networks, who are deeply concerned about unlimited government spending and expansion.”
By Tony Loiacono