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Chaffetz announces bid to unseat Cannon

WEST JORDAN — Jason Chaffetz, the former campaign manager and chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, announced Monday he will try to unseat a fellow Republican, Utah 3rd District Congressman Chris Cannon, in the party's convention next spring.

Chaffetz attacked Cannon for his record on immigration and No Child Left Behind, the federal education act.

He also said Cannon has not exercised the fiscal discipline expected of conservative Republicans, pointing to the expanding federal budget and Cannon's June vote for a Homeland Security appropriations bill that was $2 billion larger than President Bush had asked for and that the president had promised to veto.

Chaffetz, a placekicker for the Brigham Young University football team in the late 1980s, lives in Alpine with his wife and three children.

Chaffetz said he hopes to defeat Cannon at the Republican convention and earn the party's nomination by taking 60 percent of the vote. Republican party bylaws automatically give the nomination, without the need for a primary, to a candidate who wins 60 percent of the vote at convention.

He clearly will not back away from frontal attacks on Cannon's record.

"I think it will be a good clean race," Chaffetz said. "I think I've demonstrated an ability to do that, but at the same time, I find that what (Cannon) does and what he says are two different things, and I am going to talk about his record and I think that's fair game."