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Cherilyn Eagar announces congressional campaign

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Cherilyn Eagar has laced up her boxing gloves and climbed back into the political ring, this time looking to knock out six-term Congressman Jim Matheson.

Eagar, a Holladay resident and business owner, officially announced her candidacy for Utah's 2nd District on Tuesday.

And she came out swinging, calling Rep. Matheson, D-Utah, "a prime example of the problem throughout Congress."

"Our incumbent, his party and the president he supports all stand for big government, big spending, big debt and big labor unions hurting their own members," Eagar said. "He's out of touch with Utah's values."

Last year, Eagar was among Republican challengers who sought to unseat Bob Bennett in the U.S. Senate. Eagar, like Bennett, was eliminated from the race during the May 2010 GOP convention. Now-Sen. Mike Lee ultimately prevailed in the GOP primary and the general election.

Eagar says the current national job and debt crisis, combined with out-of-control spending in Washington, D.C., has the Republican Party "well-positioned to take (the 2nd District) seat back."

"My message of putting America first resonates with a growing and broad base of support from Republicans and tea party members, Independents and Democrats alike who are fed up with the federal spending spree," she said.

Thus far, Eagar is the only declared candidate in the race. Matheson reportedly is weighing his political options, which include running for governor, the U.S. Senate or re-election in 2012.

Last month, Republican Morgan Philpot said he was forming a committee to "test the waters" for another run for Congress.

Philpot, of Orem, came close to knocking off Matheson in November 2010.

Even if he decides to run, it's unclear which congressional seat Philpot would seek. State lawmakers are redrawing the congressional boundaries to accommodate a new, fourth seat allocated to Utah in the 2010 Census.