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Governor To Call Special Election If Rep. Chaffetz Doesn't Finish Term

KUED channel 7

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz says he may not finish his term in office. This comes a day after the Republican announced he would not seek re-election in 2018.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert told reporters at his monthly news conference on KUED if it’s true that Chaffetz decides to resign early, he’ll call a special election to replace him. But Herbert said he’s hopeful Chaffetz will finish out the rest of his term.

While state law requires the governor to call a special election in this instance, there are no set guidelines. Herbert said it would likely mimic a typical election process.   

“So that means delegates will have to get together and they’ll have the convention process for anyone that wants to run. That may require a primary,” Herbert said. “And then we’ll have a general as it were in a constricted time frame. So we’ll let the attorney general’s office and legal experts guide us on this. It’s our first time. But that’s IF this happens.”

Some speculate Chaffetz is positioning himself politically to run for Utah Governor in 2020. Chaffetz said on Wednesday that’s not beyond the realm of possibility.

Chaffetz said he’s confident his 3rd District seat will remain Republican. The names of potential candidates being circulated include State Senator Deidre Henderson, former independent Presidential Candidate Evan McMullin and Provo Mayor John Curtis. Democrat Kathryn Allen is already campaigning for the seat. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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