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Election news from across Utah's statewide and national races in 2020.

Election 2020: 4th Congressional Candidate Kim Coleman on Conservative Past, Building Charter School

Photo of woman at podium.
Courtesy of Kim Coleman
State Rep. Kim Coleman is the only Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District that has held elected office, which she said gives her a proven track record of conservatism.

Utah’s 4th Congressional District is a battleground for national Democrats and Republicans. The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben McAdams won the seat by just 0.2% in 2018 and his seat has become a high priority for national Republicans to flip. 

Four Republican candidates are vying to be the nominee to go head-to-head against McAdams in November.

Among them is state Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, who is positioning herself as a conservative with a proven track record during her six years in the Utah Legislature. She argued that’s important because some voters think candidates will say things just to get elected.

“So to have a candidate that they can go back and look at a record and say, ‘OK, she really actually does mean what she says. She really has voted in support of [the] Second Amendment. She really has spoken strongly for the sanctity of life,’” Coleman said. “That's really very important to the voters this year.”

Coleman first got involved in politics, she said, through starting a neighborhood watch and building a charter school with her neighbors. 

“We said, ‘OK, we've talked to the principal enough and our school board members enough,’” she said. “‘There's this new thing called a charter school. Well, let's go build a charter school together.’”

Some have called the 4th district moderate, because it went for Donald Trump in 2016 and elected a Democrat to Congress in 2018. But Coleman argued it is conservative. The district is rated an R+13. That means in the last two presidential elections, it was 13% more Republican than the national average.

“I'm just in sync with what the majority of the voters tell me they want,” she said. “They want lower taxes. They want less regulation … They want some of their fundamental constitutional rights protected.”

If elected, Coleman said some of her top priorities would be lowering the national debt and cutting taxes. 

“I've supported a balanced budget amendment and Congress should absolutely be beholden to limitations on its spending,” she said. “The way we bring down the debt is through a healthy economy and businesses being successful that will contribute to the revenues of the federal government.”

Her health care proposals include reigning in the country’s reliance on medicine from China and getting the government out of healthcare. 

“The consumer typically does a lot better when they're in control of their dollars and their health care dollars,” Coleman said. “Some of the worst way money is ever spent is when someone is taking your money and spending it on someone else.”

A recent poll by UtahPolicy.com and KUTV put Coleman in third place, with 23% of registered Republican likely voters saying they would vote for her.

The Republican Primary is June 30 and will be conducted almost entirely by mail. The voter registration deadline is June 19. 

To learn more about Colemans positions — and to compare them to her opponents — check out KUER’s voter guide.

Sonja Hutson covers politics for KUER. Follow her on Twitter @SonjaHutson

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