Packed field of Utah candidates vie for Chaffetz seat

A doctor, attorney and handful of elected officials are among the many Republican and Democratic candidates who have announced they are jumping in the race for Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat.

Chaffetz said on Thursday that he will resign from Congress next month. He is stepping down in the heavily Republican 3rd congressional district, which stretches from suburban Salt Lake City to desert towns in southeastern Utah.

Candidates have until May 26 at 5 p.m. to file to run.

The following is a look at some of the more well-known candidates running to replace Chaffetz:


Deidre Henderson has served in the Utah Senate since 2013 and knows how to win Chaffetz’s congressional district — she served as his campaign manager in his first campaign in 2008. Henderson, a Republican from Spanish Fork, owns a health care services and political consulting firm with her husband.



Margaret Dayton, a Republican senator from Orem who has served in the Senate since 2006, says she’s focusing on aligning the country’s government with the constitution. She gave the example of health care, saying “I don’t know anywhere in the constitution that allows for health care.” Dayton, who has been grinding her own wheat and baking bread for at least four decades, has also served as a state representative, beginning in 1996.



Brad Daw, a Republican state representative from Orem, said he wants to put health care in the hands of the states and reduce or rescind the state’s national monuments. The computer engineer is opposed to gun control and abortion. He served in the Utah House for eight years beginning in 2004, and then returned to his post in 2014.



Utah House Rep. Dan McCay, a Republican from Riverton, has served in the Legislature since 2012. He said Friday that he’s considering running for Chaffetz’s seat, but right now he’s leaning against it. McCay is a lawyer and real estate investor.



American Fork attorney Damian Kidd, a Republican, says he wants congress to find worthwhile ways to address tax reform and immigration issues. The personal injury attorney says he’s running as a “principle-before-politics congressman.”



Provo Mayor John Curtis, who has said he’s considering running for the seat, was not available for comment. He posted on his Facebook page Thursday that he’s “feeling more and more like it’s the right thing to do.” He has run in the past as a Democrat but in 2006 he became a Republican.



Kathryn Allen is a Democrat and first-time candidate, but she has already raised more than half a million dollars for her race, according to her most recent fundraising report. She collected much of that money in the wake of Chaffetz’s comments suggesting people should buy health care instead of iPhones. Allen is a family physician from California who has lived in Utah since 1984.



Carl Ingwell is a Monticello resident making his first run for elected office as a Democrat. Ingwell says it’s time that Utah has a representative who protects public lands, fights climate change and helps to transition away from fossil fuels. Ingwell is a biologist on a wind farm and co-founded an online Utah birdwatching community.