Republican Burgess Owens on flipping Utah House seat: Opponent's party didn't 'do him any favors'

The congressman-elect is one of a handful of Republicans who managed to unseat Democratic incumbents

Retired NFL player Burgess Owens, who defeated Democratic challenger Ben McAdams of Utah, told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that his “opponent didn’t get any favors when you have the leadership of his party heading so strongly into leftism.”

McAdams narrowly lost his bid to win re-election against Owens for Utah’s 4th Congressional District, which allowed Republicans to regain control of all four congressional seats in the conservative state.

Host Steve Doocy noted that the former safety for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders “is one of a dozen new Republican Congress members who flipped blue seats to the Republican Party.”

“We have to fight toward freedom … the concept, the culture that our country was built upon and we’re fighting against the socialists and Marxists,” said Owens, who has been a vocal supporter of President Trump.

He added that “we now need to make sure we keep the Senate.”

“We do that, we’ll give our country another two years and then get back the House and really move forward with the policies that will give our country, everyone a chance to experience the American dream,” Owens stressed.

McAdams conceded in an online news conference Monday afternoon shortly before The Associated Press determined Owens had won the race by less than 1% in a district that has seen razor-thin margins over the last ten years.

On Twitter on Monday afternoon, Owens thanked the people of Utah for the opportunity to serve.

“I promise to be an open ear for all Utahns and to serve with all I have,” Owens wrote. “Now, it’s time to get to work.”

McAdams acknowledged that he and Owens have differences in political philosophy, but said that he will continue his work through the end of his term to ensure a smooth transition. He also encouraged both parties to come together and reconcile their differences for the betterment of the country.

Owens told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that after his win, he had a “great conversation” with McAdams.


“He spoke about how much he appreciated the opportunity to serve this district and has been working with me on the transition,” Owens said. “This is the way Americans should do it. We fight hard. We fight for our dreams.”

“At the end of the day, it’s all about the end game,” Owens continued. “Our districts move forward.”

He went on to say that he is “looking forward to working with my former opponent to make sure this is a great transition and that District 4 wins in the process.”

The former NFL player helped the Oakland Raiders win the 1980 Super Bowl and on Tuesday, host Brian Kilmeade asked him where his political victory ranks in terms of all he has achieved.

Owens said he remembers sitting in the locker room with the Raiders before Super Bowl XV, which he described as “the biggest game of my career,” thinking: “I cannot believe I’m sitting here with these guys.”

“I feel the same way now,” Owens said. “We have a team that’s remarkable.”


Trump congratulated Owens over the weekend, tweeting: “Great going Burgess, you continue to be a STAR!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.