Donald Trump endorsed Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens in the Republican primaries

Former President Donald Trump endorsed two incumbent congressmen from Utah on Monday, a day before the Republican primary election.

Representatives Chris Stewart and Burgess Owens both face GOP challengers, but both are expected to win on Tuesday.

Describing Stewart as a “conservative warrior,” Trump called the five-term congressman a “tireless defender” of Utah’s 2nd congressional district.

“A retired U.S. Air Force pilot who set world flying records, Chris knows how to defend our country, support our brave veterans, and secure peace through strength. In Congress, Chris works hard to secure the border , protect our Second Amendment, grow the economy and restore American energy independence,” Trump said in a statement.

During a debate last month with his opponent, Erin Rider, Stewart said Trump told him he would support his re-election bid, but did not ask the former president to support him. .

“I don’t think it matters much, honestly. In some races, it does. But I think I can win this race on my own,” he said.

Rider, a Salt Lake attorney, said she didn’t vote for Trump in 2020 because while she liked a lot of his policies, she didn’t care about his leadership. She said during the debate that she probably wouldn’t turn down an endorsement from Trump.

Their stance on Trump was about the only point of disagreement between Rider and Stewart in their sole debate. They were largely on the same page regarding gun issues, inflation and illegal immigration.

Trump called Owens a “fantastic” representative from the state’s 4th congressional district.

“I campaigned with Burgess to overturn this seat in 2020, and I’m proud to support him again,” the former president said in a statement.

Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s top surrogate, appeared in Utah for Owens in that election, but Trump himself did not come to the state. Owens, who is seeking a second term, defeated incumbent Democratic Representative Ben McAdams two years ago in a close race.

“Burgess is a former Super Bowl champion who knows how to win. In Congress, he works hard to grow the economy, support our veterans, defend the Second Amendment, protect life, uphold the rule of law, and provide our children a great education,” Trump said.

Challenger Jake Hunsaker called Owens an absentee congressman who views the electoral process as a threat to his “toxic celebrity politics game” rather than a core part of American democracy. Owens refused to participate in debates with Hunsaker, even one that the Utah Republican Party sought to organize.

“His sense of entitlement is astounding and incredibly insulting to voters in our district,” Hunsaker tweeted Monday.

Hunsaker said earlier that he didn’t expect Trump to support him and didn’t need his approval.

“I’m not worried, because voters here are fed up with outside funding, outside endorsements and outside influence,” Hunsaker said of Trump’s endorsement of Owens. “I want endorsements from people who aren’t used to losing elections.”

In April, Trump endorsed Utah GOP Senator Mike Lee, who faces key challenges from Ally Isom and Becky Edwards. Neither Lee, a staunch Trump supporter, nor his campaign mentioned the former president ahead of Tuesday’s election.

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