Candidates jump in the race for Chaffetz’s seat in Congress

SALT LAKE CITY — Candidates are jumping into the race to replace Congressman Jason Chaffetz, who announced he’s resigning from office effective June 30.

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, made a formal announcement Friday morning that she was running for the Third Congressional District seat, releasing a campaign video introducing herself to voters.

“I’m really excited about the momentum that we feel, the organization we have. It’s kind of been a snowball effect,” she told FOX 13 in an interview.

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, in a campaign announcement video posted to Facebook. (Screen grab from her Facebook page)

Sen. Henderson is joining a crowded field to replace Chaffetz. On Friday, Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem, stopped by the Lt. Governor’s Office to file for congress.

“I had no intention of challenging Jason Chaffetz, I thought he did a good job,” Daw told FOX 13. “But with this opening, I thought I’m going to throw my hat in the ring.”

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, the longest-serving woman in the Utah State Legislature, also announced her run.

“I have grown to appreciate being called the Iron Lady while serving in the Utah Legislature. I have been blessed and honored to have the ability and support to bring a 20-year track record of consistently advocating for the same things – the Constitution and the family,” she said in her announcement.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, in a campaign flier announcing her run for Third Congressional District. (Image via Dayton’s campaign)

American Fork attorney Damian Kidd has already announced. Other Republican names being floated include Chia Chi Teng (who ran against Chaffetz last year), former Utah GOP chairman Thomas Wright, and former presidential candidate Evan McMullin.

Boston Celtics General Manager (and former BYU basketball player) Danny Ainge even tweeted that his son, Tanner, might be a good candidate.

Provo Mayor John Curtis told FOX 13 on Thursday he was seriously considering entering the race as well.

Carl Ingwell is the first to file for the Third Congressional District seat. He is running as a Democrat. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Democrats are also seeing a crowded field with Kathy Allen, Ben Frank and Carl Ingwell.

“Issues that affect congressional district three are issues that affect me. They’re issues that I’ve been working on as a community organizer, and worked in local politics for almost a decade now,” Ingwell told FOX 13 after declaring his candidacy.

Allen has already been campaigning in the Third District, preparing to take on Chaffetz if he was seeking re-election.

“As I launch my campaign for congress in the Third Congressional district, I’m pleased to have broad-based support throughout the district, Utah, and the United States. I have the support of people from various walks of life, all of whom share my concern for accountability and truth. I’m running for the health of this nation and its citizens,” she said in a statement.