For an independent Senate candidate, Evan McMullin is banking on a partisan effort to get him across the finish line in his bid to oust GOP incumbent Utah Sen. Mike Lee.
In April, McMullin officially became the Democrats’ nominee with a formal endorsement from the Utah Democratic Party. The self-proclaimed independent candidate has relied on blue-dollar donors ever since, soliciting contributions through the Democratic Party’s fundraising machine on ActBlue. McMullin’s campaign has also contracted Democrat strategists to run his operation to the tune of $1.6 million. A list of McMullin’s major donors examined by The Federalist removes any doubt that McMullin is a partisan Democrat disguised as an independent.
McMullin’s donors include former Democrat Sens. Sam Nunn and Bob Kerrey, who donated $1,000 and $5,800, respectively, according to public filings from the Federal Election Commission. A.J. Balukoff, a Democrat who ran for governor of Idaho in 2018, also contributed $5,800 to the party’s effort in Utah.
Other financiers of the Democrat campaign include several former members of the Obama administration. William Eacho, the U.S. ambassador to Austria between 2009 and 2013, donated $1,000 to McMullin. Former Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta, appointed under Obama, gave more than $3,000. McMullin also raked in $1,000 from Joel Rubin, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Obama, and $2,900 from Byron Auguste, a former Obama deputy assistant for economic policy.
Meanwhile, major activist donors of the Democratic Party are by no means absent from the partisan contest. LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman, who funded the legal defense of Fusion GPS, donated $5,800 to the McMullin campaign. Rob Stein also put $5,100 into the Utah race before his death in May.
[RELATED: Tucker Carlson: Evan McMullin Is A Democrat Who Is Lying To Utah Voters]
McMullin’s list of contributors also overlaps with the Never Trump networks behind Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and the House Select Committee on Jan. 6.
Federal Election Commission records show that Denver Riggleman, a former GOP congressman but then an investigator for the J6 committee, gave $2,900 to McMullin. In January, Riggleman, who was then still employed with the select committee, dropped out of a fundraiser for the panel’s Vice Chair Liz Cheney following conflict-of-interest allegations.
A former top adviser to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, Stuart Stevens, put $1,000 behind McMullin while his former boss refuses to make an endorsement in the race. Romney stands alone among all 49 other Republican members of the upper chamber in his refusal to offer support for Mike Lee, the incumbent senator representing Romney’s same state and party.
“I don’t get involved in primaries and I don’t endorse,” Romney told Politico earlier this year, citing “two friends” in the contest. Days later, however, Romney attended a fundraiser for Cheney, who overwhelmingly lost her August primary to attorney Harriet Hageman.
Earlier this month, Lee challenged Romney to support his campaign to keep Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., from reaching another term as majority leader.
“I don’t think Mitt Romney wants Chuck Schumer to continue to be the Senate majority leader,” Lee said on Fox News. “If I’m right on that, then he needs to get on board because that’s exactly what he will be producing.”
McMullin, on the other hand, thanked Romney for the non-endorsement.
“I respect that and appreciate it very much,” McMullin told Politico in July — telling voters all they need to know about who Romney is really supporting.