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AM News Brief: Election, Election & COVID-19

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Renee Bright/KUER
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Voters cast their ballots on election day at polling places across the state, including at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in downtown Salt Lake City. That story and more in this morning's news brief.

Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020

Statewide Races

Governor Elect Spencer Cox

Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has won the race for Utah Governor, according to the Associated Press. As of 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, he has 64.17% of the vote while his opponent, Democrat Chris Peterson, has garnered 31.10%. About an hour after the race was called, Cox gave an emotional acceptance speech in his hometown of Fairview. He said he would be a governor for all of Utah, not just Republicans. He also called on his party to change how it approaches policy. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Reyes Holds Strong Lead In Attorney General Race

Republican incumbent Sean Reyes has a strong lead in his re-election campaign for Utah’s attorney general, and Democrat Greg Skordas conceded Tuesday night. In a statement from his campaign, Reyes thanked voters and said the state and nation are stronger when people educate themselves about candidates and participate in elections. Skordas said he wished Reyes the best of luck and had hoped voters would have held him accountable. A Republican has been Utah’s attorney general for almost 20 years. Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Reyes to the position in 2013. Read the full story. — Emily Means

Education Funding Amendment

With three-quarters of the vote counted, 54% of people have voted in favor of Constitutional Amendment G. It would allow money earmarked for education to be spent on programs that benefit children and people with disabilities. If it passes, another piece of legislation goes into effect that creates an education stabilization fund and requires the Utah Legislature to adjust per-pupil funding for inflation each year. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Utah’s Congressional Races

Nail Biter In Fourth Congressional

The race for one of the country’s most competitive congressional districts — Utah’s 4th District — is too close to call. As of 12:20 a.m. on Wednesday, Rep. Ben McAdams, D-UT, has a slight edge on Republican Burgess Owens. McAdams has 49.50% of the vote while Owens has 46.01%. The race could take days or even weeks to call, but election officials must finish counting votes within two weeks of Election Day, per state law. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

Republicans Hold Three Utah Congressional Seats

Republicans have won Utah’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts. In the 1st District, Blake Moore secured a relatively easy victory with 68% of the vote over Democrat Darren Parry at 32%. In the 2nd district, incumbent Chris Stewart kept his seat with 61% of the ballots going in his favor against his Democratic challenger Kael Weston at nearly 35%. The Associated Press called Utah’s 3rd District Wednesday morning. Republican John Curtis prevailed with 69% over Democratic challenger Devin Thorpe's 27%.

Tracking The Coronavirus In Utah

Record Hospitalizations As Utah Struggles To Control Coronavirus

Utah continues to set new COVID-19 records as officials reported 366 people hospitalized because of the virus. More than 150 of them are in the ICU. Utah health officials announced 1,669 new cases and six deaths Tuesday and a week-long positivity rate of 19%. — Ross Terrell

Follow KUER’s coverage of the coronavirus in Utah.

Navajo Nation COVID-19 Update

The Navajo Nation Health Department has added two deaths and 72 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to its count. Tribal health officials say almost 128,000 people have been tested for COVID-19. — Diane Maggipinto