Republican state Rep. Kraig Powell of Heber has decided to drop out of his race for reelection.
Kraig Powell was the only sitting legislator who had chosen to skip his party’s convention and seek access to the primary ballot exclusively through signature gathering. He had even said he was prepared to be a test case if the Utah Republican Party chose to kick him out because of that choice. But now he’s decided to drop out of the race. Powell declined a request to be interviewed by KUER, but in a letter to his supporters explaining his decision, Powell wrote that the race was becoming too contentious and negative. He said his opponent, Tim Quinn, was quote, “extreme” and in order to combat negative allegations he’d have to do the same.
But Quinn, says he’s not quite sure what Powell means.
“I’ve never sent out a mailer," he says. "I haven’t sent out any flyers. I haven’t sent any blast emails. And up to that point I had only done one interview with The Park Record, the newspaper in Park City.”
Quinn says he’s glad that he’s now won the Republican nomination, but that the race didn’t go at all like he’d thought.
“I really would have liked to have have the opportunity to debate him," he says. "And to say, OK, this was an issue. This is how I feel about the issue. This is how Kraig voted on the issue.”
In his letter to supporters, Powell also mentioned the stress caused by mailers sent to his district from outside political groups. He was referring to a mailer sent out by Americans For Prosperity. It was sent to several legislative districts and was meant to inform people how their legislator voted on a bill AFP supported. While this particular mailer pointed out that Powell voted against the bill, the executive director of AFP Utah said they’d previously sent out a mailer to his district congratulating him for voting against Medicaid Expansion.