Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin says he may mount a 2018 challenge against either Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: Inside Trump's tax plan | White House mulls order pulling out of NAFTA | New fight over Dodd-Frank begins GOP leaders, top tax writers: Trump principles will be 'critical guideposts' Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform MORE (R-Utah) or Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCummings: White House 'covering up' for Flynn Chaffetz to have surgery, will miss several weeks in Washington Overnight Finance: Inside Trump's tax plan | White House mulls order pulling out of NAFTA | New fight over Dodd-Frank begins MORE (R-Utah).
McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House as an anti-Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump voter who cast ballot illegally won’t be charged Trump’s tax plan is a bold step toward draining the swamp Carter Page: I'm the victim of 'horrendous civil rights violations' 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.
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 ClintonObama's speech proves hypocrisy of Democrat's anti-Wall Street rhetoric Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift Want a tremendous deal on infrastructure spending? Suspend Davis-Bacon MORE’s 27 percent and McMullin’s 22 percent.