Log Cabin Republicans Utah president Mel Nimer will oppose the legislature's newest gay-friendly Mormon, Democrat Ben McAdams, hoping to become a senator representing Salt Lake City's east side. How very.---
McAdams' original challenger chosen at the Republican convention missed a deadline and is now out of the race. The state Republican party cherry-picked Nimer as the replacement, and he has accepted.
Eric Ethington over at PRIDEinUtah has the deets, and comments from the candidates.
City Weekly was intrigued by McAdams when he was first chosen to replace "the gay," former Senator Scott McCoy, who earned his moniker by being the first out member of the Utah Senate (Correction: I originally wrote "first out member of the Utah Legislature, which is incorrect). I noted then that McAdams replacing McCoy meant there were now more Mormons in the legislature who are vocal advocates of gay rights than there were queer-identified legislators (the "score" went from 2-3 to 3-2). Editor Jerre Wroble teased the Dems for choosing another white, Mormon, male attorney, which is anything but unique in that body.
So, if McAdams weren't interesting enough all on his own, now he's being challenged by a gay man, a Gay Republican, no less, and they're always interesting.
If you're wondering what it's like to be a gay Republican--much less a gay Republican in Utah--check out a feature I did on the Log Cabin Republicans at the state Republican Party Convention, featuring Mel Nimer, among others.
Update 5:30 p.m. 9-2-10: There's a semi-amusing inside-baseball story about how Nimer was chosen. Utah Republican Party chairman Dave Hansen says the party got a last-minute phone call two days ago from the Lt. Governor's office saying they had one day to choose a replacement. That sounded unusual to City Weekly managing editor Josh Loftin, so I asked Hansen if that 24-hour deadline was a statue or what. "I'll be honest with you," he said, "I need to look at the law to see how this worked." He said the state party quickly called the county party, and they chose Nimer. I called the director of elections in the Utah Lieutenant Governor's office, Mark Thomas, and asked about this peculiar 24-hour deadline. Thomas says candidates can be replaced by the parties so long as there are more than 30 days until the election, only if the candidate dies, becomes mentally or physically incapable, or if the candidate misses a disclosure deadline, as happened here. OK, fine, but that doesn't explain the 24 hours. Thomas says that within a few minutes of our 5 p.m. phone call that the list of candidates' names was being sent to the county clerks for ballots to be printed. Ordinarily, the LT's office doesn't have to send out their names to the clerks until Sept. 8, but there's a new federal law mandating that overseas Americans receive their ballots at least 45 days prior to the election. So, this being the first time to comply with that law, they chose to certify the candidates' names in advance. So, the 24-hour deadline isn't a law at all; it was just a strange circumstance.