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Bishop Returns To Washington In The First District

Lee Hale
Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, won reelection Tuesday.

Congressman Rob Bishop handily won an eighth term in Washington Tuesday.

The First District Republican fended off his Democratic challenger, Peter Clemens, by winning 65 percent of the vote. Bishop called the night’s election results proof that Americans are sick of the status quo after eight years of a Democrat in the White House. He promised to be Utah’s voice in Washington on managing public lands, maintaining a strong military and scaling back White House power.

“Thank you for being Utahns, thank you for being Republicans,” he told the crowd at the Utah GOP’s election-night party. “Thank you for caring about this government. Thank you all.”

Bishop has strongly criticized a proposal to designate 1.9 million acres in southeastern Utah as a new Bears Ears National Monument. Instead he’s been pushing the Public Lands Initiative, a plan to set aside 18 million acres on the state’s eastern edge for mining, ranching, recreation and conservation. It’s opposed by environmentalists and a coalition of Native Americans.

Meanwhile, Clemens is a medical doctor who tried to persuade voters that Bishop is beholden to outside interests and out of touch with First District constituents.

“At the end of the day, I’m grateful to live in a democracy,” he said in a telephone interview. “And I respect the right of the majority to choose the candidate that they want representing them.

Clemens said his campaign message resonated with many voters.

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