At least four more Mormons have cleared primaries for statewide or U.S. congressional offices while an Idaho congressional candidate leads in polls and Harry Reid's son Rory looks to November with a GOP opponent in the Nevada gubernatorial race.
David Harmer, a Republican candidate running in California's 11th Congressional District, came out on top in the three-way GOP primary June 8. He will run against two-term incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney.
According to the Tracy Press: "This is Harmer's third tilt at a congressional seat, and his second campaign in two years. He first ran in 1996 in Utah to represent that state in the House of Representatives, and he also mounted an unsuccessful bid in 2009 in California's 10th District."
David Harmer is an attorney, businessman and son of former California state senator and Lt. Governor John Harmer. After graduating with honors from law school at BYU, he went to Washington as counsel to a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, appointed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, according to his election Web site.
Rep. Wally Herger won his primary in northern California's 2nd Congressional District. The (Redding, Calif.) Record Searchlight reported: "Herger, 64, has represented the reliably Republican 10-county 2nd Congressional District for nearly 24 years. He sits on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, a gatekeeper for federal spending. Herger has voted with his party colleagues 96 percent of the time during the current Congress, according to a Washington Post analysis." The newspaper endorsed Herger.
According to the LDS Church News, Herger joined the LDS Church when he was 20.
Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, a Republican from Santa Clarita, went unchallenged in the GOP primary and runs for re-election in November in the state's 25th Congressional District. He has held the seat since 1992.
In Iowa, LDS Church member Matt Schultz also won 47 percent of the vote against two other opponents in the GOP primary election for the state's Secretary of State. The post is the state's top election official who also runs a business division. Schultz will challenge Democrat Michael Mauro. Mauro has held the post since 2006, according to the Des Moines Register.
Schultz's website notes he has served on the Council Bluffs City Council, served a mission in Argentina, received a associate's degree from BYU–Idaho and graduated from the University of Iowa and Creighton University law school.
As previously mentioned in Mormon Media Observer, Raul Labrador emerged from the GOP primary in Idaho's 1st Congressional District to face Democrat incumbent Walt Minnick. A recently released poll shows Labrador is leading among voters. He is backed by 36 percent of likely voters in the November election, while Minnick is backed by 24 percent. Thirty percent were undecided. An additional 4 percent were undecided but leaning toward Labrador, 5 percent were undecided but leaning toward Minnick, and 1.5 percent favored someone else, according to the Idaho Statesman.
Also in Idaho, LDS member and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho Falls, will face a Democratic challenger in November as will Mormon Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Burley, who beat out two other challengers in the GOP primary.
In Nevada, Rory Reid, son of Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, is campaigning hard to make up what looks to be a deficit in voter support for the governor's office. The Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Reid now faces former federal judge Brian Sandoval in the November election after Sandoval beat incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons in the GOP primary. The Review Journal notes this about both men ís their fight for the Hispanic vote:
"Although Sandoval was the state's first Hispanic attorney general and is the first Hispanic major-party nominee for governor, Reid isn't ceding any ground in the campaign for Hispanic votes. In fact, the Hispanic community is one of Reid's major targets for outreach. One advantage on that front is language: Reid speaks Spanish, Sandoval doesn't. Reid, a member of the Mormon church, learned the language during a two-year mission to Argentina in the early 80s. The mission, Reid said, helped him hone skills that are useful for reaching out to people in a political context."
In Utah, the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by ousted Utah Sen. Bob Bennett makes for some interesting politics among BYU staff and faculty. There may be a couple of reasons why the BYU community may be torn on a vote in Tuesday's GOP primary between Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee. Bridgewater is married to Dr. Laura C. Bridgewater, a professor of molecular biology at BYU.
Lee is the son of Rex E. Lee, who is remembered fondly at BYU as past university president who died from cancer in 1995 and solicitor general under President Ronald Reagan. Of course, there is a contingent of Democrats among the BYU faculty who likely won't be voting for either.
In Arizona, Rep. Jeff Flake, a Republican from Mesa, faces a GOP challenger in that state's 6th Congressional District. Voters go to the polls in August.
A hat tip goes to readers who helped identify LDS candidates. If you know of other LDS candidates, please write to the MMO at [email protected]