Andrew Badger was a Republican candidate for Utah’s 1st Congressional District seat in the 2022 midterm election. Running on a conservative platform, Badger challenged incumbent Rep. Blake Moore in the Republican primary but ultimately lost the nomination. While details on Badger’s policy positions were limited, he appeared focused on local Utah issues in his messaging. After his primary defeat, Moore went on to win the general election in November 2022.
Background on Andrew Badger
A Utah native, Andrew Badger graduated from Harvard College in 2012 and later earned a graduate degree from the University of Oxford in 2019. Prior to entering politics, he worked in real estate development and investment. Badger was a political newcomer when he launched his 2022 congressional campaign.
Badger’s Congressional Campaign
In April 2022, Badger defeated incumbent Rep. Blake Moore in the Republican convention for the 1st Congressional District. However, Moore would go on to decisively win the primary election in June. Badger’s longshot bid gained some prominent local endorsements but was unable to overcome Moore’s incumbency advantage.
Key Policy Positions and Messaging
Details on Badger’s specific policy positions and priorities were limited during the campaign. His messaging appeared tailored to local issues impacting Utahns in the 1st District, though his platform aligned with conservative Republican values.
After losing to Moore in the June 2022 primary, Badger’s congressional bid came to an end. Moore defeated his Democratic challenger Rick Jones in the November general election by over 30 points.
Badger’s Background and Education
Early Life and Upbringing
Andrew Badger was born and raised in Utah. He comes from a large Mormon family – the 6th of 10 children. His father worked as a professor at Brigham Young University. As a child, Badger developed a strong passion for public policy and civic engagement.
Education at Harvard and Oxford
After graduating as valedictorian from his Utah high school, Badger attended Harvard College where he majored in government. At Harvard, he wrote for the student newspaper and was actively involved in campus political organizations.
Badger graduated from Harvard in 2012 with honors. He went on to earn a graduate degree in public policy from the University of Oxford in England in 2019.
Following his education, Badger worked in commercial real estate finance and development. He was based in Utah and focused on projects across the Mountain West region.
Badger co-founded a real estate investment firm that specialized in distressed properties. He served as a vice president at the company prior to resigning in 2021 to launch his congressional campaign.
Badger’s 2022 Congressional Campaign
Entering the Race
In January 2022, Andrew Badger announced his campaign for Utah’s 1st Congressional District seat. The seat was held by freshman Republican Rep. Blake Moore.
As a first-time candidate, Badger was initially viewed as a longshot challenger against the incumbent Moore who had the endorsement of Mitt Romney. However, Badger proved to be a formidable opponent.
Republican Primary Campaign
Badger ran to the right of Moore, painting the incumbent as an insufficiently conservative Republican. His messaging focused on traditional values, fiscal restraint, and local control of public lands.
In April, Badger pulled off a surprise win over Moore at the state Republican convention, gaining the party endorsement. However, Moore regrouped and defeated Badger by 29 points in the June 28 Republican primary.
Losing the Nomination to Moore
Despite winning the convention, Badger struggled to gain traction with primary voters in the 1st District. As an incumbent, Moore had much greater financial resources and name recognition.
Moore touted his conservative track record in Congress, having aligned himself fully with Donald Trump’s agenda. Badger was unable to convince voters to oust the incumbent.
Endorsements and Support
Badger did garner some prominent endorsements from local Republican officials during the primary. His supporters viewed him as the more authentic conservative candidate committed to Utah values.
However, most of the state party establishment continued to back Moore. Badger was unable to match the incumbent’s fundraising and spending in the primary battle.
Badger’s Policy Positions and Campaign Themes
Limited Details on Policy Priorities
Throughout his congressional bid, Andrew Badger did not release detailed policy platforms or position papers. His campaign messaging tended to be vague on specific policy stances.
As a conservative Republican, Badger advocated for broad principles like limited government, individual liberties, pro-life values, gun rights, and border security. But he did not delve into policy details.
Messaging Focused on Local Issues
Rather than emphasizing national issues, Badger’s campaign messaging centered heavily on topics impacting Utahns in the 1st District.
He highlighted his commitment to public lands access, water rights, and agricultural issues. Badger also promised to defend religious liberty and Utah’s family values if elected.
Ideologically, Badger ran as a staunch conservative aiming to pull the Republican Party further rightward. He portrayed Moore as more moderate and open to compromise with Democrats.
Badger appealed to the most conservative wing of the state’s Republican base. But this proved insufficient to unseat the well-funded incumbent.
Election Results and Aftermath
Losing to Moore in the Primary
After his defeat in the June 2022 primary, Andrew Badger’s congressional bid came to an unsuccessful end.
Incumbent Rep. Blake Moore defeated Badger by a sizeable 29-point margin, allowing Moore to continue on as the GOP nominee.
Moore’s General Election Win
With Badger out of the running, Moore went on to face Democrat Rick Jones in the November general election. Moore defeated Jones easily, winning a second term in Congress.
So while he fell short in the primary, Badger’s efforts did not ultimately affect his party’s hold on the seat. The 1st District remained in Republican control.
Badger’s Next Steps
Following his primary loss, Andrew Badger returned to his career in real estate finance and investment.
It remains unclear if he will launch another bid for public office in the future. But his 2022 campaign did mark Badger as a rising conservative voice in Utah Republican politics.
Andrew Badger’s longshot 2022 congressional campaign in Utah highlighted a broader debate within the Republican Party between establishment incumbents and an insurgent right flank trying to pull the GOP in a more populist direction. While Badger’s bid came up short in the primary, his performance demonstrated there is an appetite for more ideologically pure candidates among Utah conservatives. Badger’s political future remains uncertain, but at just 35 years old, he will likely remain a player in Utah Republican politics going forward.
Who is Andrew Badger?
Andrew Badger is a Republican politician and real estate developer from Utah. In 2022, he ran for Utah’s 1st Congressional District seat but lost in the Republican primary.
What election did Andrew Badger run in?
Badger ran in the 2022 midterm elections for Utah’s 1st Congressional District. He challenged incumbent GOP Rep. Blake Moore in the Republican primary.
What were Badger’s key policy positions?
Badger did not provide many specifics on policy stances. Broadly, he ran as a conservative Republican advocating limited government, fiscal restraint, pro-life values, gun rights, and tighter border security.
How did Andrew Badger perform in the 2022 election?
Badger lost the June 2022 Republican primary to incumbent Rep. Blake Moore by a 29-point margin after defeating Moore at the state party convention in April. Moore went on to win the general election.
What is Andrew Badger doing now after his 2022 loss?
After losing the primary, Badger returned to his career in real estate finance and investment in Utah. It’s unclear if he will run for office again.