Jason Chaffetz not closing the door, not actively pursuing 2024 run for Senate or Governor

Sep 19, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2023, 6:50 am

Image of former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, when he spoke during the American Legislative Exchange Co...

FILE: Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks during the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City on Friday, July 30, 2021. This week he told KSL NewsRadio is not actively considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2024. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The race for Utah’s open senate seat in 2024 is just beginning, but former Congressman Jason Chaffetz told KSL NewsRadio he’s not actively pursuing a run.

“I haven’t fully closed the door on it, but it’s not something I’m actively pursuing,” he said.

He was more decisive when asked about a run for Governor in 2024, something he has flirted with in the past.

“That’s not something I’m planning to do, challenging Governor Cox is not in my plans,” he said of 2024. He said he is keeping his eye on a possible 2028 run for Utah Governor.

“To be able to help the state of Utah … be in Utah, that … I think … has ultimately more appeal than running for the United States Senate,” he said.

Chaffetz said his experience as the chief of staff to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, and his eight and half years in Congress make him well suited to lead Utah.

“I understand the federal component and I think that’s a unique combination,” he said. “In Utah [the Governor’s seat] is where you can really, truly make a difference in making sure that we keep the quality of life and all the major issues that are facing our state in the coming decades,” he said.

Chaffetz likes his Fox News gig

Chaffetz said he’s quite happy in his role as a commentator on Fox News.“Right now, I’m purely focused on Fox News, I enjoy it there,” he said.

He also believes that, at least right now, Fox News can help him make the most difference on issues.

“I have a big megaphone right now, and opportunity … I speak around the state, and I can influence and talk about policy, and that’s where my passion lies.”

Chaffetz said he is most concerned about the nation’s national debt, inflation, energy plans, immigration, and foreign policy.

“Ultimately that leads to the quality of life that Americans deserve,” he said. “How we sustain $32- … $33-trillion dollars in debt, somebody’s gotta get a grip around that,” he said.

Chaffetz was asked whether there’s someone he supports in the race for Senate, whether they’ve jumped in or not.

“No, not yet,” he said.

What Utah needs in a senator

As for what he believes Utah needs in a future senator, Chaffetz said someone who will not only talk about their principals but live by them — even once they get to Washington and catch what he called, “Patomic Fever.” Chaffetz cited Senator Mike Lee as an example of putting principle over the “issue of the moment and political expediency.”

“It’s one thing to actually say [what you believe], it’s another one to exemplify that you will live by that,” he said.  

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Jason Chaffetz not closing the door, not actively pursuing 2024 run for Senate or Governor