Points By Drew Pritt

Cannon Ousted By Chaffetz
June 25, 2008, 4:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Theres a tsunami fast approaching Washington, D.C. and it crashed on the rocks in Utah this evening, as Jason Chaffetz (R), the former Chief of Staff to Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. and BYU Quarterback crested 60% over incumbent Congressman, Chris Cannon (R). Ironically, Chaffetz is the half-brother of John Dukakis, as his father was the first husband of Kitty Dukakis, who is now married to former Governor and ’88 Democratic Presidential nominee, Michael Dukakis.
Cannon had faced strong challenges before. In 1996, he narrowly defeated former Congressman Bill Orton (D) to win the seat. In 2004, Cannon defeated Republican challenger Matt Throckmorton in the primary, getting 58.4% of the vote, in a race in which the major issue dividing the candidates was immigration policy. Cannon spent more than $600,000 to defeat Throckmorton who raised $84,000. In October 2006 millionaire real estate developer John D. Jacob announced that he would run against Cannon. In May 2006, at the state GOP convention, Jacob surprised Cannon by winning 52 percent of the delegate ballots. The Republican primary was held on June 27, 2006. Cannon received 32,306 votes (55.8%) and Jacob received 25,589 votes (44.2%).
This year, Chaffetz fell 10 votes shy of eliminating Cannon at the Utah Republican Convention, forcing him to a primary. Cannon out-raised Chaffetz by nearly 7-to-1, had the endorsements of President Bush and Senators Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennet, and spent tens of thousands of dollars on polling. Chaffetz and his fleet of volunteer staff put their efforts into organizing a grassroots effort.
Chaffetz hammered away at Cannon, running a relentless campaign targeting Congress’ failure to control government spending, fix immigration and energy policies, and eliminating the federal government’s role in public education. Cannon has cited his conservative credentials, his work to develop oil shale in order to bring down gas prices, and said he has the experience and seniority to represent the district in Washington.
After graduating from BYU with a BA in Communications, Mr. Chaffetz joined the local business community and has been very active in various community organizations. Last year Mr. Chaffetz was appointed by the Governor, and unanimously confirmed by the Utah State Senate, as a Trustee for Utah Valley State College. He has also served as the President, BYU Cougar Club-Utah County, member of the Highland City Planning Commission, and as the Chairman for the Utah National Guard Adjutant General Review. Chaffetz served as Jon Huntsman, Jr.’s Campaign Manager, building a successful statewide grassroots organization to unseat an incumbent Governor. In November 2005 Jason again joined the private sector managing his own company, Maxtera Utah, serving client companies to achieve their corporate communications and marketing needs.

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