June 25th, 2008
11:03 AM ET
6 years ago

Republican congressman loses primary challenge

Jason Chaffetz defeated Republican Rep. Chris Cannon Tuesday night .
Jason Chaffetz defeated Republican Rep. Chris Cannon Tuesday night .

(CNN) – Utah Rep. Chris Cannon, consistently ranked among Congress' most conservative Republicans, was defeated Tuesday by a primary challenger who repeatedly argued Cannon was not conservative enough.

Jason Chaffetz, a first-time candidate and former chief of staff to Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, defeated Cannon by 20 percentage points, 60 percent to 40 percent, with nearly all the precincts reporting.

Chaffetz pledged to be more conservative on illegal immigration policies. Cannon has said he supports a program where undocumented immigrants, who lack a criminal record, could pay a fine to obtain a temporary workers permit. Chaffetz instead advocates a plan to begin gradually deporting all illegal immigrants from the United States. He also supports ending automatic citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants living in the United States.

"We have a mandate to change the way business is done in Washington," Chaffetz told CNN. "We are thrilled. I was outspent by $600,000, I have no paid staff, and no name identification. I said we need to get back to conservative principles and it obviously resonated."

Chaffetz is now essentially guaranteed to win in November. The district, which includes a some of Salt Lake City's suburbs, is overwhelmingly Republican. President Bush won 77 percent of the vote in 2004.

Voter turnout for the primary was extremely low, an ominous sign for the party, Chaffetz said.

"This ought to be a wakeup call the establishment that things are not well. We need to remind people why they are Republicans because they have forgotten, and are not inspired by anybody. "

Cannon is the third member of Congress this year to lose to in a primary this year. In February, Maryland Democratic Rep. Al Wynn and Maryland GOP Rep. Wayne Gilchrest were both defeated in February.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Drew, KS

    Obama has made me think about my feelings on immigration. At first I was saying everybody must go.

    But, I liked the fact that he said you don't have to step on someone else's dream in order to pursue your own. I think it is time for America to try and get along with our neighbors, and really, really address the immigration issue.

    I still don't support people who criminals staying in this country, but maybe we can discuss law abiding people who just want to work.

    June 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. NO SURPRISE!!!!

    Republicans, was defeated Tuesday by a primary challenger ..............
    WHO CARES

    June 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. 4 THE CONSTITUTION

    Glad Cannon lost -be glad when Nader climbs under his rock- and note people with genius minds often are ecletic, which is why they can see the broader picture, work to bring people together and think out of the box-GO OBAMA.

    June 25, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  4. BRIAN FROM GREEN COVE SPRINGS FL

    wow, utah politics just got farther to the right......when the rest of america is moving to the middle........why is utah even a state.......

    June 25, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Obama Gal

    I am one that is trapped in utah right now and it is hell. These people preach acceptance of one another but yet elect a man that wants to kick out not only illegal immigrants but their children as well? These people are the most hateful judgemental people that I have ever meant and I can't wait to run far far away from this state and never look back. Oh and the reason not many republicans showed up CNN is because when the result will be a republican no matter what... why take the time to vote?

    June 25, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. independent

    these are gop candidates.it's irrelevant.gop are no longer allowed in politics.they are banned.move all republicans to utah with mormons,give them 1 electoral vote.fence it in,and let mexicans live with us,on outside.put short people in utah ,too.they make me mad.

    June 25, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Obama Gal

    oh and <3 factcheck's comment... right on target :)

    June 25, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  8. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA

    CNN PLEASE DON'T DADER US AGAIN.

    YAK!!!

    June 25, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Astrid

    This is for "George Bushed" from another Ticker article...
    Your 'clown' AlGore, didn't get Florida stolen from him. The idiot LOST his HOME STATE of Tennessee in 2000!!!! Not since 1972, did a Presidential Candidate lose in his home state (that would be George McGovern)...that was 36 years ago!!!!

    If AlGore would have won his state, he would have been President and there would have been no need to go after Florida. It was his to lose and the 'clown' lost it!

    So in desperation, the 'clown' tried to STEAL FLORIDA FROM GEORGE W. BUSH. Thanks to the lying media, they twisted it around.

    Just a little trivia for those of you who don't have a clue.

    June 25, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Typical White Person

    Sharon Kitchen June 25th, 2008 2:02 pm ET

    Just one question…….what people does he want to deport?????

    The ILLEGAL ones. Pa-leeze! Stop using the old "we are all immigrants" line, it just doesn't hold water. Ellis Island is a monument to LEGAL immigration which is so not the same thing.

    There are thousands of people waiting in line to get into this country the LEGAL way so why should some border-hopping, law-breaking, job-stealing illiterate from Mexico get to stay?

    June 25, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Typical White Person

    Anonymous June 25th, 2008 2:24 pm ET

    Immigration Reform will come to this country! I'm tired of hearing stupid GOP people with their Deport undocumented citizens lines. It's not going to happen. That is about the dumbest thing we could do.
    --–

    No, the dumbest thing we could do would be to not learn from our mistakes. In 1986 we granted amnesty to the 6 million that were here then. Twenty years later we have 12 million more. You do the math and figure out what legacy you will be leaving your kids in the next 20 years.

    June 25, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. Bukky

    Hmmm Um so children born in THIS counrty wont be citizens. NO thats not extreme or anti american at all.

    June 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. generationsane

    Those are my people and I'm so ashamed of their "unconsciousness" . The LDS Church has a mindhold on many otherwise good, smart people. It's tragic. The congressional district mentioned is Provo/Orem NOT Salt Lake Suburbs. There is no oxygen in Provo/Orem. And thank heavens I married a Canadian and left there in 1973. I try to open as many minds as I can, but unless you've lived in both worlds, you really can't understand how powerful the conservative hold there is. Time and progress around the entire world is the only hope for them.

    June 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. li

    to al UTAH……………..THE GREAT BASTION OF MORONS. SHOULD START DEPORTING ALL THE MORONS FROM THE UNITED STATES TO UTAH. WHAT HAPPENS IN UTAH STAYS IN UTAH. WHEN WILL YOU SEE THE LIGHT.

    STOP THE MADNESS. VOTE OBAMA.

    ILLEGAL COME HERE NO BODY ASK THEM TO COME,THEY TAKING ADVANTAGE,LIBERAL VERY DANGEROUS ANYTHING GOES,ILLEGAL LESBIAN,DRUG,OPEN BORDER ,BEGGING..MONEY LAZY

    June 25, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Gretchen, MD

    Regarding Ralph Nader:

    Obama is talking more than "white", he's talking Red, White, and Blue. Or hadn't you noticed that you're in AMERICA.

    Obama 08

    Signed, a white woman who's fed up with stupidity.

    June 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Power to the People = Former Repug

    Jan:
    You call yourself "Nurse for McCain". Just go nurse him and stop whinning about CNN. Fox =cunning News Network gives John McCain "equal time as they are unbiased." WOW unbiased Hannity (Vannity), Carl Rove, Operation Chaos, Anne Coulter and the rest of the Rethug gang. Now I understand whan unbiased means to the Repugs. Know what? If you are a McWar blogger who loves the war and BIG OIL but no guts to enlist then you are unbiased and McSame is your man.
    I am so biased that I will Vote for Obama this time.

    June 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Voter

    I wonder if the desire to elect Democrats this year will actually extend to Barack Obama. If so, he will be riding the suit itself, instead of the coattails.

    Let's hear it for Nader!!! Finally, someone who says it like it is. He's calling on BO to show some moral courage, not a lot, mind you, just a little.

    Barack wants it so bad, and the press is so enamored of appearing politically correct, that the lot of them are throwing black Americans under the bus this time. And black Americans are lining up to be tossed by voting for this charleton.

    And I thought I had to vote for McCain to show my disgust with Obama and the DNC. All I have to do is vote for Nader.

    NADER '08!!

    June 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. Wanda in Montana

    The more conservative the fundamental bible thumpers take the republican party the more irrelevant they become.

    Hate is not a family value. But it HAS worked to get republicans elected. It's time to stop tolerating religious intolerance and elect officials for their brain (if that means they're elite, so be it!) and not their so-called "values" which are morally bankrupt and just plain unintelligent.

    James Dobson is a bottom feeding scum sucker and Ralph Nader is even older than McSame.

    Go Obama! And you stinky conservatives can just go play at FOX, it won't hurt my feelings not to read your viscious ignorance.

    June 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. Fred

    He has alien style hands

    June 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. David from Ohio

    That's precisely what the country needs, more hard-core conservative Republicans in Congress. They did such a spectacular job when they held the majority.

    June 25, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. GOP IS A FRAUD

    "JAN FROM MICHIGAN" AM GLA DU WATCHES FOX NEWS YOUR BRAIN IS PROBABLY FRIED AND TWISTED BECAUSE EVERY INFORMATION YOUR RECEIVE FROM THAT NETWORK IS HEAVILY FIXED. WORSE NEWS NETWORK PERIOD AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR THIS COUNTRY

    June 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Wayne

    Im an Obama supporter but Im conservative when it comes to immigration. Its not a question of legality, it's a question of enforcement. It is illegal to come to the US without documentation. The penalty for such an offense should be deportation. Sure, we know there are 12M of them here but you got start somewhere. If they are found out..send them back.

    June 25, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. PCL

    Close the borders...great. But if anyone thinks that 12 million people or more are going to be deported, especially after American businesses invited them here and hired them, I hope you won't die of disappointment.

    June 25, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. aware

    This will soon be inconsequential!

    Obama is just beginning to take the heat, and he will not be able to continue just brushing it off by putting down the valid critiques.

    Dr. Dobson and Ralph Nader are absolutely right. Obama will say anything to win but he doesn't have wisdom, credibility or authenticity!

    Obama's attempt to woo evangelicals will only energize Conservatives. Freedom of religion and "universalism" are not the same thing!

    America is founded on Judeo Christian values/principles, and I don't think the majority of Americans want to change the very foundation America was built on and our core identity.

    This former Democrat will vote for McCain 08. :)

    June 25, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  25. saha

    I hope lots of big shots on the way to loose this time,

    better luck next time

    June 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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