Utah: Cannon Not Inclined to Seek Chaffetz Rematch

Posted March 23, 2009 at 6:09pm

While he wouldn’t close the door on another Congressional run someday, former Rep. Chris Cannon (R) said he is deeply involved in multiple private-sector ventures and is not thinking about a bid to reclaim his old seat in Congress in 2010.

“I never say never,— the six-term former lawmaker said of another campaign. But right now, “I have the privilege of not having to focus on those kind of things.—

Since being ousted in a primary last year by now-Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), Cannon has joined the boards of several different companies, including the research and development firm Ceramatec, which is based in Salt Lake City. He said last week that he’s enjoying the private-sector lifestyle and the challenge of developing new products such as a longer-lasting compact disc.

In recent weeks, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s (R) possible primary challenge to Sen. Bob Bennett (R) has become the hot topic in Utah politics, and Shurtleff has indicated that an announcement on his primary plans could come as soon as this week. Cannon said Bennett’s biggest worry this cycle will likely come during the May 2010 GOP convention.

Cannon, who barely garnered enough votes in the convention to force a primary with Chaffetz in 2008, said the convention process “trends toward angry people.—

Therefore, if a Bennett challenger can whip up enough anti-incumbent sentiment, Bennett may have a problem. But, Cannon said, if Bennett makes it out of the convention “he’ll be elected.—

Cannon added that Shurtleff, who has been criticized by some on the right for not being conservative enough on social issues, may have some trouble appealing to the “harsh, harsh social conservatives— who dominate the GOP convention. The former Congressman said that a more socially conservative candidate, such as attorney and former gubernatorial aide Mike Lee (R), might have a better chance against Bennett at the convention.