Potential Primary Challenger to Senator Mike Lee Declines 2016 Bid

by Jim Geraghty

That didn’t take long. Hours after Campaign Spot reported that Utah senator Mike Lee hired Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, and the opposition research group America Rising, one of his potential primary rivals decides he’s not that interested in running after all:

Alex Dunn, the Provo business executive being recruited by a top adviser to former presidential candidate Mitt Romney to run against Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, announced Tuesday he won’t get in the race.

“Given my current responsibilities as president of an incredible company and to my young family, my wife and I have decided now is not the right time,” Dunn, president of Vivint Inc., a home security company, said in a statement . . . 

Earlier, Rhoades told the National Review Online in a statement that America Rising is “excited to join Sen. Lee’s team in his re-election effort. The senator is working to unite the Republican Party around common sense solutions and a positive agenda.”

In the statement, Rhoades said that “Utah needs Mike Lee in the United States Senate, and America Rising LLC will help ensure his campaign has the tools they need to take on an opponent while the senator focuses on taking his message directly to the people.”

Oh, and for those who contend the National Republican Senatorial Committee is always out to help the squishes against the true conservatives . . . 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is also gearing up for a potential effort to unseat Lee, who was elected in 2010 after Utah GOP delegates voted out longtime Sen. Bob Bennett in a state party convention.

“The NRSC will do whatever it takes to ensure Sen. Lee can continue to serve Utah families,” Executive Director Ward Baker said. “If anyone runs against a Republican incumbent, they should understand they will have the full weight of the NRSC against them.”

The NRSC is pro-GOP incumbent, for better or for worse.

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.