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A former NFL safety took a big step Tuesday night toward a whole new career.

Burgess Owens, who played from 1973-1982 for the New York Jets and the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders, won Utah’s Republican primary for a U.S. House seat, according to The Associated Press.

Owens, 68, who played college football at the University of Miami, was leading in the 4th Congressional District race by nearly 20 percent over the next candidate, FOX 13 of Salt Lake City reported.

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Earlier in the evening, Owens was sensing there would be positive results, The Deseret News of Salt Lake City reported.

“We’re very, very excited,” Owens said as early numbers came in. “This is a district that both parties need – the Democrats need it to keep their chaos, and we need it to keep our country and our culture.”

Owens will face Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Ben McAdams in November, FOX 13 reported.

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In another U.S. House race in Utah, Blake Moore held a slight lead over Bob Stevenson in the GOP primary for the 1st Congressional District, while Democratic candidate Darren Parry led Jamie Cheek by 5 percent, FOX 13 reported.

Dom Calicchio is a Senior Editor at FoxNews.com. Reach him at dom.calicchio@foxnews.com.

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Bubba Wallace addresses attacks from Trump: Even when its HATE from POTUS.. Love wins

NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace on Monday called for Americans to meet hate with love after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump second-term plans remain a mystery to GOP Trump to hold outdoor rally in New Hampshire on Saturday Eighty-eight years of debt pieties MORE attacked the racing circuit's only African American driver and falsely accused him of carrying out a "hoax" involving a noose found in his garage stall. 

Trump early Monday shared a tweet targeting NASCAR over its decision to ban Confederate flags from its facilities and Wallace over a controversy involving a noose found in his garage last month. An investigation revealed that Wallace was not the target of hate crime and that the noose had been in the garage for months. But NASCAR President Steve Phelps stressed in a statement that “the noose was real" and the racing circuit released an image proving it was not a hoax.

"Has @BubbaWallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?" Trump tweeted. "That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!"

Just hours later, Wallace shared a statement on Twitter in which he pushed younger generations to deal with "hate being thrown at you with love."

"Love over hate every day," Wallace said. "Love should come naturally to as people are TAUGHT to hate. Even when it's hate from the POTUS.. Love wins."

To the next generation and little ones following my foot steps..#LoveWins pic.twitter.com/tVaV3pkdLe

— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) July 6, 2020

 

Wallace, who in 2018 became the first full-time Black driver in the top-flight NASCAR racing series since 1971, added in his message that "your words and actions will always be held to a higher standard than others."

"You will always have people testing you. Seeing if they can knock you off your pedestal," he said. "I encourage you to keep your head held high and walk proudly on the path you have chosen."

NASCAR and Wallace gained national attention last month after a noose was found in the driver's garage stall at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Other drivers walked alongside Wallace's car in a show of solidarity after reports surfaced about the incident and Wallace decried it as a racist act.

Though just days later, the FBI concluded that Wallace was not the target of a hate crime and that the noose had hung from the garage at the raceway since at least October. 

NASCAR has defended the seriousness it brought to the matter, however, with Phelps emphasizing in late June that officials saw "a symbol of hate" that was only present in Wallace's garage. 

As part of its investigation, NASCAR officials asked each track on the circuit to walk their respective garages. Out of 1,684 garage stalls reviewed at 29 tracks, just 11 had a pull-down rope tied in a knot. Only one had a rope fashioned like a noose: Wallace's designated garage at Talladega. 

The episode arrived as protests swept the nation following the May 25 death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. Amid the unrest, Wallace was vocal about the need for NASCAR to ban displays of the Confederate flag from its grounds. He also emblazoned "Black Lives Matter" across his No. 43 Chevrolet for a race in June.

NASCAR announced on June 10 that it would no longer allow Confederate flags on its properties or at its events, saying that its presence "runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment."

Trump's comments on NASCAR and Wallace come as he continues to speak out over attempts to remove Confederate monuments and other historical figures. 

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