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 Grant HatchFinance to hold hearing on ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea Week ahead in finance: Clock ticking for GOP on tax reform MORE (R-Utah) or Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzFive memorable moments from Hillary Clinton’s newest book Clinton says she mistook Chaffetz for Priebus at Trump's inauguration Curtis wins GOP primary for House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz MORE (R-Utah).

McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House as an anti-Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment 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 Diane Rodham ClintonBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax hit by earlier hack | What to know about Kaspersky controversy | Officials review EU-US privacy pact Overnight Tech: Equifax hit by earlier undisclosed hack | Facebook takes heat over Russian ads | Alt-right Twitter rival may lose domain MORE’s 27 percent and McMullin’s 22 percent.