Phil Lyman has cast new doubt on the outcome of the 2024 Republican primary

Phil Lyman has cast new doubt on the outcome of the 2024 Republican primary

In a new video, Lyman also called GOP primary winner Gov. Spencer Cox a “weasel” and “Gavin Newsom 2.0,” referring to California’s Democratic governor.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gubernatorial candidate Phil Lyman, R-Blanding, speaks to reporters in Highland, Tuesday, June 25, 2024.

Two days after losing to Gov. Spencer Cox in the Republican gubernatorial primary, Phil Lyman is still suggesting the election may not be up and refusing to budge.

On Thursday, Lyman posted a lengthy video on YouTube reacting to Cox’s victory speech, complaining about how quickly the incumbent’s election was called after the polls closed.

According to unofficial results, Cox currently leads Lyman by nearly 12 points. He noted that those numbers have dwindled since Cox declared victory Tuesday night.

“When they called that, it was about 60 percent for Cox and 40 percent for me. Now it’s down to about 56 percent and going down,” Lyman said. “The only thing we know for sure in Utah is that we’re being lied to.”

Lyman also criticized the media for not being sufficiently skeptical of Cox’s victory.

“There’s a lot of pressure on these guys to continue the narrative, a lot of pressure on the media to make sure they’re not proven wrong about this. They are not impartial,” Lyman added. “This is not an unbiased election, and it should be.”

In the 34-minute video, Lyman repeatedly insulted Cox, calling him a “weasel” and a “slut” and “Gavin Newsom 2.0,” referring to the Democratic governor of California.

Just days before the election, Lyman’s campaign launched a last-minute effort to cast doubt on the signatures Cox had collected to qualify for the ballot. Lyman’s campaign suggested the signatures may not have been valid and claimed Gathering, the signature-gathering company employed by Cox, was under criminal investigation in Washington County for wrongdoing.

Although these claims seem explosive, they do not stand up to scrutiny.

Davis County Clerk Brian McKenzie, whose office verified Cox’s petition signatures, explained in a Facebook post that the verification process is extensive and not open to the kind of manipulation that Lyman alleges. Tanner Leatham, president of the Gathering, told The Salt Lake Tribune that an independent contractor his company hired to collect signatures in another race did not follow the company’s guidelines, which led to many of those signatures being rejected . Leatham said he was not aware of any criminal investigation involving his firm.

Before the election, Lyman’s campaign filed an open records request under the Utah Governmental Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) to gain access to the original signature forms Cox submitted to appear on the ballot of voting in primary elections. On Thursday, Lyman continued to suggest problems with Cox’s signatures and called for an audit to make sure everything was legitimate.

“Let’s take a look at the signatures. Open those packages. If you want to have a qualified third-party professional that we can agree on, let’s do that,” Lyman said. “I just want to see the signatures. I just want some electoral integrity.”

Lyman has flirted with election denial several times in recent years. He has spoken at several events focused on the “big lie” that massive fraud swung the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden. In 2021, he tried to use his position as a state lawmaker to gain access to the personal information and voting history of every registered voter in Utah, even those who asked that those records not be made public.

In a text message to The Salt Lake Tribune, Lyman said he is still considering legal action following his apparent loss.

“They mainly deal with signatures. So maybe it will be resolved by GRAMA,” Lyman wrote.