Jason Chaffetz Will Leave Congress in June, Setting Up Special Election in UT03

Congressman Chaffetz’ decision to leave Congress by the end of June will set up Utah’s first special Congressional election in almost ninety years. He had drawn a Democratic challenger for 2018, Dr. Katheryn Allen, who had already raised over $560,000, and will likely run in the special. Even with considerable fundraising, to call Allen an underdog is an understatement: Utah’s 3rd Congressional District is the one of the safest Republican seats in the nation, voting for Chaffetz by forty-seven points in 2016. Regardless the eventual Republican nominee, they start off the heavy favorite. The special election itself opens a big can of worms: Republicans in the state legislature are threatening to sue Governor Gary Herbert over the details. The Governor wants a primary and general election, rather than a convention process, and voters seem to overwhelmingly agree. The problem: such a system could leave the seat vacant for months.