SALT LAKE CITY — The Latest on the debate between Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Lee and his Democratic challenger (all times local):
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee underlined his differences with presidential nominee Donald Trump and defended his position on the balance between religious and LGBT rights during a debate against Democratic newcomer Misty Snow.
Snow, a transgender woman, challenged the incumbent Wednesday on a proposal she said would allow religious institutions to discriminate against LBGT people.
Lee pushed back, saying his bill would make the government neutral on the issue.
He was also empathic in his opposition to Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the country. Lee later said he hasn’t decided how he’ll cast his ballot because he won’t vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Snow also challenged Lee on his role in the 2013 government shutdown, calling it “no way to lead.”
Lee said the shutdown was President Barack Obama’s
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee and his Democratic challenger Misty Snow will square off in a debate Wednesday night at Brigham Young University.
Snow is a 31-year-old transgender woman who works as a grocery store cashier and is making her first run for political office.
She faces a major challenge to unseat Lee, a popular GOP senator in a largely Republican state.
Lee was one of a number of conservatives elected in 2010 amid a wave of tea party-backed candidates. He gained national attention for helping spearhead a fight to derail President Barack Obama’s health care law, leading to the 2013 government shutdown.
More recently, he’s pushed back against a proposal to name a new national monument in southern Utah’s Bears Ears area and overhaul the criminal justice system to give judges more discretion in sentencing offenders.