McAdams holds on to 4,906 lead over Love in latest election returns

SALT LAKE CITY -- Ben McAdams continued to hold onto a lead over incumbent Republican Congresswoman Mia Love as more election results were released.

The latest numbers show McAdams with a 4,906-vote lead. Utah, Salt Lake and Juab County released more ballot numbers on Friday.

But Utah County still has thousands of ballots yet to be counted. The county's elections officials have said there were 89,000 outstanding ballots after Election Night. On Friday, they released results for about 17,000, leaving roughly 72,000 ballots still uncounted countywide. The county has also estimated one in seven ballots is for the hotly contested Fourth Congressional District.

"There’s still a lot of results to come in. Particularly from Utah County. We don’t know exactly how many ballots are left down there, but there’s a lot left to be counted," said Justin Lee, the elections director for the Utah Lt. Governor's Office.

McAdams' campaign said it was pleased with his lead.

"We are happy with the mayor's lead and look forward to seeing additional results next Tuesday." McAdams campaign manager Andrew Roberts said in a statement. "Election officials are working around the clock to process the remaining ballots. We appreciate their hard work and dedication to ensuring a fair and accurate tally of the votes."

Love also expressed optimism.

"We were pleased to see the numbers today but we are going to wait until every vote is counted," said Rep. Love in a text message sent to FOX 13 through her campaign. "Thank you to all of those people who waited in line for such a long time. You deserve better."

Criticism has been leveled at Utah County by Governor Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox and others over long lines, slow counts and other issues with Utah County's administration of the election.

Jason Perry, the director of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, said the race was too close to call, but he said Rep. Love still had a math problem. Numbers coming back still were not looking good for her.

"There is a potential solution for her. Really what she needs now, she needs 49% of every Salt Lake County vote to come her way and she could maybe pull this off," Perry told FOX 13.

The next election results will be released on Tuesday. The ballots will be finalized on Nov. 20 when county clerks canvass the election totals.