McMullin open to challenging Chaffetz or Hatch in 2018

McMullin open to challenging Chaffetz or Hatch in 2018
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Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin says he may mount a 2018 challenge against either Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchLive coverage: Senate GOP unveils its ObamaCare repeal bill Grassley doesn't see how Judiciary 'can avoid' obstruction probe Ryan calls for tax reform to be permanent MORE (R-Utah) or Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzGowdy won't use Oversight gavel to probe Russia The Hill's 12:30 Report Chaffetz: Trump administration 'almost worse' than Obama's on transparency MORE (R-Utah).

McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House as an anti-Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKennedy considering retiring from Supreme Court: reports Ninth Circuit gives green light for much larger travel ban UK Labour leader has ‘message on the wall’ for Trump MORE candidate, on Friday said he probably will run for elected office again, but not necessarily next year.

“It is likely that I will seek public office again,” McMullin said in a Reddit “ask me anything” chat. “That might be in 2018 or it might be sometime down the road, perhaps very far down the road.

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“It is possible that I will challenge Chaffetz or Senator Hatch, but there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. One of the primary factors is what the people of Utah want.”

McMullin has floated taking on Hatch — the longest-serving GOP senator in history — before. But this appears to be the first time he’s mentioned possibly running against Chaffetz.

In the past, Hatch said he would retire at the end of his term in 2018, but recently said he plans on running “right now,” though he has yet to make a final decision. The Utah Republican is getting urged to run for reelection by President Trump and Senate leadership.

“Plenty of people outside of Utah or who do not vote in the Republican primary are eager to see Chaffetz replaced, for example,” McMullin said. “But he may be supported by his Republican primary voters and, if so, that has to be taken into account.”

During the February recess, Chaffetz faced a rowdy town hall back in his home state, particularly facing heated questions over the GOP's push to repeal ObamaCare.

McMullin, who is from Utah, targeted his home state in the 2016 election. Utah is a deep-red state, but Trump was thought to be vulnerable there because he was not well-liked by its Mormon population. Trump easily won Utah in the end, with 46 percent support, compared with Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump notes 'election meddling by Russia' in tweet criticizing Obama Former Obama advisor calls Fox ‘state sanctioned media’ Biden rips Senate GOP healthcare bill, says it 'isn't about healthcare' MORE’s 27 percent and McMullin’s 22 percent.