Former Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin says he may mount a 2018 challenge against either Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin HatchCan Trump rebound after failure on healthcare bill? Overnight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate US Chamber urges quick vote on USTR nominee Lighthizer MORE (R-Utah) or Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzSecret Service agents set for discipline after fence-jumping incident: report Overnight Cybersecurity: House Intel chair says surveillance collected on Trump transition team House Oversight grills law enforcement on facial recognition tech MORE (R-Utah).
McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House as an anti-Donald TrumpDonald TrumpYes, the stock market rally is over. But don't blame it on Trump. Trump may throw out first pitch at Opening Day baseball game: report House intelligence panel Dem: I don't trust Nunes 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 ClintonSchumer confronts wealthy Trump supporter in restaurant: report With GOP’s healthcare bill on ice, Dems go on offense Trump asks why Clintons' ties to Russia aren't under investigation MORE’s 27 percent and McMullin’s 22 percent.