Chaffetz Resignation Sparks Conflict, Compressed Campaigns in Utah

In any other year, Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s decision to resign would have sparked a crowded Republican primary. But as one Utah GOP operative put it, this year is not like any other year.

Consultant Chuck Warren sat down with a state lawmaker Friday morning to talk about a possible run for Congress. The lawmaker pointed to a picture of his family and his home and said, “Why would I give that up to go up there and pound my head against a wall?”

Warren said gridlock in Congress, the tense political environment and the unrelenting news cycle have some of the typical contenders passing on the congressional race.

“This is the first time I’ve seen, and I’ve seen this a lot where you have an open solid red congressional seats, … that you don’t have everyone who thought about running for Congress since college throwing their that into ring,” he said.

After announcing in April that he would not seek re-election, Chaffetz signaled he might leave Congress before the end of his term next year. Last week, he followed through, announcing he would resign effective June 30.

His departure has set off a special election  in a state that has not experienced a House vacancy since 1929. And while the Utah legislature and governor spar over a special election date, Republican candidates are already jumping into the race to succeed him, before the window closes on one of Utah’s four House seats.

“If you’re going to run, you’re going to run. It doesn’t matter when they pick the date,” Warren said, noting that the seat may not open up again for several years. “This is your one shot.”  Read Full Article Here: