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Chaffetz, Stewart now voting for Trump after disavowing GOP nominee

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah congressmen made a 360-degree turn, as Karl Malone once famously said, when it comes to GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Republican Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Chris Stewart have gone from backing him to pulling their endorsements to now saying they will vote for him Nov. 8.

"I will not defend or endorse @realDonaldTrump, but I am voting for him. HRC is that bad. HRC is bad for the USA," Chaffetz posted on Twitter late Wednesday.

His re-election campaign said Chaffetz would have no further comment.

Stewart told St. George News on Wednesday that he struggled with some of the things Trump has said.

"But at the end of the day, our choice is Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. These other candidates are just not going to win. There really is a binary choice, and given that choice, it’s very clear to me what is better for our country," he said.

Chaffetz and Stewart quickly disavowed Trump after video of him making crass comments about women surfaced earlier this month.

Chaffetz said he couldn't look his wife and daughter in the eye and vote for Trump. Stewart, who once called Trump a modern-day Mussolini, said he wanted Trump to get out of the race and allow his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, to lead the party.

The two congressmen's Democratic opponents took them to task for going back and forth.

Stephen Tryon, who is challenging Chaffetz in the 3rd Congressional District, said the congressman has a habit of deceiving people to advance his career.

"Chaffetz lacks the character to represent a Cub Scout troop, much less the people of the 3rd District," he said in a statement. "Chaffetz's word means nothing, and like Trump, he is unfit to lead and does not deserve Utahns’ vote in this election."

Charlene Albarran, Stewart's opponent in the 2nd District, calles Stewart a follower and not a leader.

"Where are his standards for good judgment?" she said in a statement. "We need a representative who knows what they are doing and stand up for what they believe."

The reversals by Chaffetz and Stewart came as Pence called on Utah Republicans to "come home" to vote for Trump in a speech in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.

The remaining members of Utah's all-Republican congressional delegation have held to their positions.

Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Rob Bishop say they will vote for Trump.

Rep. Mia Love and Sen. Mike Lee are the only members of the delegation to never endorse Trump. Neither have revealed for whom they would vote, though both have said Clinton is not an option.

Email: romboy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: dennisromboy