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Politics

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The Mountain West is a pretty conservative place. So when Democrats win here… it’s big news. And now two Democratic governors from the region are mulling a run for president.

Colorado’s John Hickenlooper and Montana’s Steve Bullock are both moderate progressives, both won in fairly conservative places, and both are kind of wonky.

“They’re not that person who can command a crowd,” Lee Banville, a political journalism professor at the University of Montana, says.

Our region has attracted the attention of the Terminator.

“I’m right now on a campaign to terminate gerrymandering,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger in a video from Budapest, where he’s shooting his latest film.  

Schwarzenegger is raising money for efforts in four states, including two in the Mountain West, to end the political practice.

We hear about gerrymandering a lot these days, but not necessarily an explanation for what it is. It’s complicated, but not impossible to explain.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Candidates in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District squared off on a range of topics Monday night during a rowdy debate at Dixie State University in St. George.

The National Rifle Association has spent nearly $3 million so far in the 2018 election cycle. A big chunk of that change is centered on a race right here in the Mountain West.

Hatch speaks at Kavanaugh hearing.
Associated Press Live Stream

In a contentious first day of confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's second U.S. Supreme Court pick, Utah's Republican senators called for a tough but fair process with Sen. Orrin Hatch assuring nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh that he would be confirmed.

Mitt Romney looks at wildfire maps.
@Romney4Utah Twitter

Elected officials and wildfire experts will meet Thursday afternoon in Salt Lake City to discuss how to prevent catastrophic wildfires from springing up in Utah and across the west.

Rob Bishop at podium.
Associated Press


As part of our ongoing series of congressional candidate profiles, KUER's Judy Fahys spoke with Bishop about his re-election bid, President Trump and the idea of a Space Force.

Sen. John McCain speaks with veteran.
Sen. John McCain Twitter Feed

U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch was among the Utah leaders joining a chorus of condolences and remembrances from around the nation for U.S. Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican and two-time presidential candidate who died Saturday. McCain, who had been fighting brain cancer but whose family announced the day before his death he was stopping medical treatment, was 81.

 

Chris Stewart interviews in KUER studios.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

Microsoft said it has removed websites created by Russian hackers which targeted two conservative think tanks, including one affiliated with Republican Senate hopeful Mitt Romney.

Orrin Hatch in his office in Washington D.C..
Taner Pasamehmetoglu

Utah's senior Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is wrapping up more than four decades in office at the end of 2018. Until then, the seven-term senator and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is leading the charge to get Pres. Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed.

 


man holds a model of a black rifle made on a 3-D printer.
Whittney Evans / KUER

Utah has not stood in the way of a Texas company's effort to release blueprints for a 3D printed gun that a federal judge in Washington state has blocked.

Warren looks over a speech with Giuliani.
Courtesy Bill Warren / New York Mayor's Office/Diane Bondareff

Rudy Giuliani is grabbing headlines these days as President Donald Trump's attorney. From the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election to the president's relationship with adult film-star Stormy Daniels , Giuliani has taken to the airwaves to offer stunning admissions and to assail the inquiries into the Trump campaign.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

The state is facing lawsuits from backers of two citizen-led ballot measures that failed to qualify for the November election, litigation that could prompt lawmakers to make changes to how referendums are conducted.  

Columns at the Utah State Capitol Building
KUER

Utah lawmakers are pushing to capture new revenue after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last month allowing states to collect sales taxes from online retailers.

An armored vehicle with pro-gun marchers alongside.
Julia Ritchey / KUER

From behind the wheel of a black Bearcat armored truck, speaking through a PA system, Bryan Melchior had a message for the people of St. Petersburg, Fla.: "Arm yourself!"

US Supreme Court building.
iStock.com/Phillip Nelson

The president is revealing his choice to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Watch the announcement LIVE at 7:00 P.M. MST.

Lee Hale / KUER

Utah’s House members spend less than the average congressperson on staffing and day-to-day operations, according to data obtained by ProPublica.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

After Russian efforts to disrupt U.S. elections in 2016, many states — including Utah — are shoring up their systems to prevent hacking and outside interference. But Russia uses social media too, and at least one big-name political candidate in Utah appears to have drawn some unusual interest.

Judy Fahys / KUER

A lawsuit announced this week in Salt Lake City focuses on a contested county commission seat, newly redrawn voting districts and a Navajo candidate well known for his opposition to shrinking the Bears Ears National Monument.

Kelsie Moore / KUER

Mitt Romney is back. After two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, the former Massachusetts governor seems to be sailing through his bid for U.S. Senate. But he still faces a primary race with Republican state lawmaker Mike Kennedy. The winner of the June 26 primary will face Democrat Jenny Wilson in November for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. 

Romney spoke with KUER's Nicole Nixon this week to discuss immigration, President Trump and more. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Pool Photo / Deseret News

Republican Mike Kennedy is a relatively unknown lawmaker and family doctor challenging Mitt Romney for the GOP nomination in the race for Utah’s Senate seat, left open by Orrin Hatch’s upcoming retirement. The winner of the June 26 primary will face Democrat Jenny Wilson in November. 

KUER’s Nicole Nixon sat down with Kennedy to talk about health care, President Trump and more. 

This interview has been edited for time and clarity.

Lee Hale / KUER

The North Korean summit with President Donald Trump has been on the minds of many at a local Korean church. The historic event has caused some friction between older and younger generations.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Despite stalled negotiations, Rep. Chris Stewart thinks the U.S. House will take up immigration reform in the coming weeks.

Screenshot / KUED

The Utah Debate Commission is holding debates Tuesday for all three of Utah’s contested primary races.

Nicole Nixon / KUER

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike Kennedy is clarifying an apology he gave to a Texas pastor who has made inflammatory comments about Mormonism and other religions.

iStock.com/lightcome

A federal judge in New York ruled on Wednesday that’s it’s unconstitutional for President Trump to block critics from his Twitter feed. The case could have implications for local elected officials, too.

A bipartisan group of Colorado lawmakers kicked off an anti-gerrymandering campaign this month. They want to take redistricting decisions out of the hands of state legislators and put it into the hands of twelve voters.

Judy Fahys/KUER News

The governors of neighboring Western states shared a stage Tuesday to talk about energy. Utah Republican Gary Herbert and Colorado Democrat John Hickenlooper agreed about many issues — until they were asked afterward about the Trump administration. That's when it became clear they have contrasting views on how the federal government is listening to the states.

Screenshot/Jordan for Governor Campaign

A record number of Native Americans are running for political office this year nationally and in the Mountain West.

Jcomp/iStockPhoto

The country's first free-range parenting law goes into effect in Utah May 8. But people in other states are already warming to the idea.

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