What Super Bowl winning coach donated to a US Senate candidate in Utah?

Former state lawmaker Becky Edwards, left, Sen. Mike Lee, and communications, public policy and campaign strategist Ally
Isom. Edwards has raised more than a half-million dollars since entering the race for Lee’s Senate seat in late May.

Former state lawmaker Becky Edwards, left, Sen. Mike Lee, and communications, public policy and campaign strategist Ally Isom. Edwards has raised more than a half-million dollars since entering the race for Lee’s Senate seat in late May. (Deseret News archives)



SALT LAKE CITY — A Republican challenger to Utah Sen. Mike Lee has raised more than a half-million dollars since entering the race in late May.

Former state legislator Becky Edwards took in $504,881 for the quarter ended June 30, according to her Federal Election Commission report. More than half the total — $275,000 — came out of Edwards' own pocket.

Contributions came from 269 individual donors, including Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, who gave $17,400 between them. The filing shows 83% of donations came from Utahns, and about two-thirds of the contributions were under $200.

Edwards said the support the campaign has received so far shows that voters are eager to have a better option in 2022.

"Hitting our goals is an important part of our campaign," she said. "And it requires building lasting coalitions, acting on promises, and supporting a vision of collaboration, productivity, and balance for our future."

Lee has sent a flurry of fundraising emails since the first of the year, including a mid-month plea saying he is short of his goal.

"I know it's getting late, but I wanted to reach out to you really quick," the emails say. "Will you pitch in $5 or $10 and help me hit my target? The only way I can win and defeat the Democrats radical agenda is with your help."

A two-term incumbent,Lee attended a reelection fundraiser at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in February. The fundraising dinner hosted by prominent Republican donors cost $10,600 per person.

Lee's latest FEC report shows second quarter contributions at just over $1 million. He has collected money from more than 3,000 Utah donors so far this year and has a total of nearly $1.7 million in his campaign account.

A number of conservative organizations have donated to Lee, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth, which has run attack ads against Edwards and Ally Isom, a Republican who entered the race this month. GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn gave Lee $70,000 from his PAC. Other contributors to Lee include T-Mobile, Walmart, Microsoft, Koch Industries and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Lee spent $5.5 million on his 2016 reelection.

Isom, former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Gary Herbert, filed her candidacy after the second quarter campaign finance reporting period.

A Democratic challenger has yet to register as a candidate with the FEC.

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Dennis Romboy

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