UT-3: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) is Retiring

Fifth-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) is retiring. Chaffetz has been high-profile (and somewhat controversial) in the House for his lead of the Oversight committee and was often talked about as a potential candidate for higher office, but instead he will call it quits.

The decision opens up UT-3, which went 47-23 for Trump. This being Utah, the usual places to go for Great Mentioner action (the legislature and local offices) don’t really apply, as the state tends to be more or less allergic to promoting pols (as an example, it hasn’t promoted a House member to the Senate since 1940). The most obvious candidate is former presidential candidate Egg McMuffin Evan McMullin (R), who took the lions’ share of the third party vote in this seat and has stayed active as a pretentious self-promoter since. A member of the Romney clan could be a strong candidate. And there is a very good chance of someone coming out of nowhere; just one of Utah’s current delegation had any elected political experience before winning their seat.

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46 Comments

  • BostonPatriot April 19, 2017 at 10:59 am

    I smell a McMuffin congressional bid.

    • RRR April 19, 2017 at 11:04 am

      What, so he can be Egg on his face McMuffin?


      NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
      Scarsdale test conservative
      Reagan and Bush Made America Great

    • MosheM April 19, 2017 at 11:21 am

      His guy did round to 1% in GA-6


      28, M, R, NY-10

    • Mayor Perk April 19, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Speaking of McMuffin it looks like he and Trump have something in common after all: http://www.sltrib.com/home/5191365-155/mcmullin-owes-nearly-670000-for-his


      30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

      • RRR April 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        And, well, perhaps that’s why he’ll run.


        NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
        Scarsdale test conservative
        Reagan and Bush Made America Great

    • Tekzilla April 19, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      I’d donate to his campaign and if I lived in UT I’d certainly vote for him and volunteer for him…Not sure that’s a good thing for him though lol.


      36/M/NY-01 (D)

      • cer April 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

        Makes sense, seeing that he is the closest thing to a Democrat that might actually have an outside chance to making that at least a race.

        • RRR April 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm

          Or, just maybe, he’s a pretty standard issue Reagan-era conservative who is angered by the current direction of the GOP.


          NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
          Scarsdale test conservative
          Reagan and Bush Made America Great

          • cer April 19, 2017 at 2:33 pm

            Nah, more like a phony, but if he is your cup of tea, he is all yours.

            • The Emperor April 19, 2017 at 2:47 pm

              he literally called Republican voters attending a Trump Rally “white supremacists.” Reagan would have been horrified.


              male/21/R/TX-22, CA-52/originally CA-45, KS-03
              Rubio Republican

            • krazen1211 April 19, 2017 at 2:54 pm

              He’s the guy who won’t leave the party even after you start vacuuming the floor.

            • RRR April 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

              He’s not my choice for this, or any, district; my pick is Josh Romney.


              NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
              Scarsdale test conservative
              Reagan and Bush Made America Great

              • cer April 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm

                Josh seems like a really good fellow, and solid conservative to boot.

          • HS April 19, 2017 at 5:42 pm

            Nope. He has mostly been attacking Trump from the left, or echoing Dem talking points on Russia or racism. He even called for Sessions to resign.

            As we have seen, the number of Republicans who are real conservatives who won’t switch when convenient can be counted on one hand.

            • LtNOWIS April 19, 2017 at 6:58 pm

              When has he ever attacked Trump from the left? It’s always about Russia ties, racism, authoritarian tendencies or Trump’s personal conduct.


              28, VA-11

              • The Emperor April 20, 2017 at 12:44 am

                That is the playbook of the “Resistance”


                male/21/R/TX-22, CA-52/originally CA-45, KS-03
                Rubio Republican

                • RRR April 20, 2017 at 12:48 am

                  Uh, no. That’s far more all-encompassing.


                  NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
                  Scarsdale test conservative
                  Reagan and Bush Made America Great

  • MaxwellsDemon April 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Is Josh Romney going to run?

    • Lucas Black April 19, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I want Tagg because ‘Tagg, He’s It!’ would be the perfect slogan.

    • MikeFL April 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Wouldn’t be surprised if one of them gets in, runs for Hatch’s seat in 2024, then goes for President down the road.


      26 | FL-3/-16 | Fiscal Conservative
      Hoping for the best.

    • Grant April 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      I’d think the Romneys are more likely to run for Governor or Senate. I think they’d consider themselves (not necessarily without merit) too big a name for the House.


      26, R, OK-5

  • Left Coast Libertarian April 19, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I met Jason in 2008 when he was a candidate and interviewed him 3 times. He is one of the stars of my documentary, which, after 9 years, is two weeks away from being finished. It’ll be at festivals later this year. Jason is a great guy.

  • Left Coast Libertarian April 19, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Democrats will be celebrating that they drove Chaffetz to retirement with their town hall. And Trump only got 47% in this district. That’s less than GA-6. Time to pour $8 million into it!

    • krazen1211 April 19, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Some speculation that he will run for governor.

      • Left Coast Libertarian April 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

        Of course there is. Because who wants to speculate that he’ll go to the private sector? That’s not interesting. When I met Jason I got the feeling he wasn’t a lifer. A lot of the outsider Republicans don’t believe in that. He will have served 5 terms.

        • Mayor Perk April 19, 2017 at 1:25 pm

          Chaffetz himself said today he’s definitely a maybe for UT-Gov 2020.


          30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

        • cer April 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm

          Good for him for not making DC his entire career.

  • Republican Michigander April 19, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Interesting. Jason Chaffetz is going to be at an event in my county this weekend. Our 8th District Party is organizing it. I’ll be there. http://www.mi8thdistrictgop.com/


    MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

  • The Emperor April 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    I think it would be interesting to poll Utah Republicans to see what their approval rating for Trump is right now. If it’s high, then McMullin is screwed in any primary for his massive leftward shift. Just running an ad on his tweets would destroy him.
    Utah was subject to massive spin in 2016 after the election that it shifted massively to the left. Not true. Hillary got under Obama’s 2008 vote share in terms of percentages. The only reason the margin shifted so much was because McMullin got over a fifth of the vote.


    male/21/R/TX-22, CA-52/originally CA-45, KS-03
    Rubio Republican

    • Izengabe April 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      McMullin’s post election posturing has hurt what little chances he had of getting elected here. If he took the same post election stand that other conservative #NeverTrump at places like National Review did I think McMullin would be in a great position to win this House seat. But McMullin went left and joined the #Resistance which probably makes him unacceptable now to a conservative Utah GOP primary electorate.


      Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

      • Republican Michigander April 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        McMuffin’s problem to a primary electorate is that he basically joined the enemy. It’s one thing to have problems with the nominee or to stay quiet all election. If I was going to defect, I would have kept my trap shut all through the general, and quietly pulled the lever for Mr. Blank. This guy actively not only enabled Hillary Clinton indirectly, but then ran his mouth even more after the fact.

        Now if he’s not running, that’s not a problem. It is however, political suicide.


        MI-08 - Michigan is a red state again. We need a 50 state strategy and an 83 county strategy.

    • RRR April 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm

      Won’t the nominee be picked at a convention?


      NY-07 via IL-09 and PA-07
      Scarsdale test conservative
      Reagan and Bush Made America Great

      • Mayor Perk April 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm

        I think a candidate has to meet a 60% threshold to avoid a primary. At least those were the rules in 2008 when Chaffetz challenged Cannon?


        30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

        • BostonPatriot April 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

          Those are the standard rules. They eliminate the lowest finisher after each round until someone has over 60%. When they get down to 2, there’s one final vote and if no one is over 60 those two go to a primary.

          • shamlet April 19, 2017 at 3:47 pm

            But nowadays you can also petition your way onto the primary ballot like a normal state.


            R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

  • Mayor Perk April 19, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    McMullin “evaluating his options.” Eye roll.

    http://ijr.com/2017/04/851638-evan-mcmullin-evaluating-options-utah-chaffetzs-decision-not-run-2018/


    30. OH-12. Establishment Republican.

  • Izengabe April 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Keeping with the theme that everything in our politics will only get worst I think it is important to point out for the Great Mentioner that Merrill Cook is only 70 years old and Enid Greene has made a bit of a political comeback……


    Follow me on Twitter: @Izengabe_

  • GerGOP April 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Good riddance. Wasn’t a fan of his.

  • AJNolte April 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Is Dan Liljenquist in this district, or Bishop’s? I can’t remember. IIRC he ran a pretty non-nasty race against Hatch in 2012 and might have a shot if he lives here.

    • shamlet April 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      Bountiful, which is actually Stewart’s.


      R, MD-7. Process is more important than outcome.

      • pstchrisp April 19, 2017 at 4:33 pm

        Who cares. He’ll move 10 minutes up the road once his girlfriend finishes school.

        • Son_of_the_South April 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

          Lol


          23, R, DC-AL
          Classical liberals are a minority. Fusionism is the answer.

        • GerGOP April 19, 2017 at 5:45 pm

          But he was at least born and grew up in the community.

          • krazen1211 April 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm

            Didn’t you know? Ossoff had a victory for the ages!

        • AJNolte April 19, 2017 at 6:31 pm

          Should probably have clarified that Liljenquist ran against Hatch in the 2012 primary…

  • Alton April 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    RollCall lists Provo Mayor John Curtis, McMuffin, and State Sen. Deidre Henderson (Chaffetz’s campaign manager) as potential candidates.

    http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/who-could-replace-chaffetz?utm_content=buffer30183&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#sthash.tY3aJSrh.dpufhttp://buff.ly/2oVXO0A

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