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

Republican congressman loses primary challenge

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.chaff.gi.jpg caption="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. Tjstelten


    June 25, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. Andy J, NY

    Darth Vadik-

    you are a moron. Obama said he wants to keep gas at $4 a gallon. Nice platform, you D B. Maybe he should spend more time reading up on the Founding Fathers, and less time telling people how to run their lives and letting us know what is good for us (we are all so stupid because we aren't liberal socialists, you know).

    Keep the government out of my pockets and out of my business.

    You may need the government as a crutch, but personally, i'd like to see them have much less power and be much much smaller.

    You live in Cali? Probably the most liberal state in the Union... Hey, hows your economy in California? Yup.

    June 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  3. Sharon Kitchen

    Just one question.......what people does he want to deport?????
    Everyone, excpet the first peoples of Turtle Island are here as immigrants...so ......does that imply that the first peoples can have their land back now....if so, please hurry before it is all ruined.

    June 25, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Ross in MD

    The Republican party has become a fringe group.

    Democrats will have a very large majority in the House next year.

    June 25, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. Jim

    The scary thing is this guy sounds more republican than the republican opponent, I actually liked the idea of paying a fine and obtaining a workers permit. This guy isn't gonna mix well with the rest of the dems...

    June 25, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. JIm

    What an overwhelming turnoput by the treason party hacks on these comments. If the likes ot you liberal losers was in control of this country, we'd be a total turd world slum in less than a generation.

    June 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. Andy J, NY

    Darth Vadik-

    $4.50 a gallon for gas?

    How long have the democrats been in control of Congress? What was it Nancy said, that at $2 a gallon the Dems were going to take control of "sky rocketing" gas prices?

    Well, can you please tell me what the democratically controlled congress has proposed in the past 2 years that has been aimed at lowering gas prices? Besides taxing oil company profits, which any economist will tell you is only going to raise prices because the business of oil will have to raise its prices to keep its profit margin (Which is only about %8- many businesses have a much larger profit margin than this).

    I think all you liberals missed the part in economics about incentives and taxes and the whole free market thing. You just don't quite seem to get it.

    June 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. john williams san diego, ca.

    I can't vote for him, but i can donate to a true Americans campaign...if i have any money left after paying for the FREE medical care that illegals get especially in this city.

    June 25, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  9. Kristy, Utah to Georgia

    I found this interesting since I just moved from Salt Lake City to Georgia. In fairness to the people of SLC, there is a large liberal and politically active group there. The more rural areas have more faith-based voting folks (although I'm not sure how religion and immigration are connected–doesn't religion teach tolerance?).

    At any rate, give Utahns a break. There are many intelligent, socially aware people fighting to make a difference even in one of the most conservative states in the nation.

    June 25, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |

    Want to know how to get your GA$ FREE ?

    June 25, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  11. skunkrat The Marine

    Another Idiot going to Washington with a stupid racist agenda. He is in for a rude awakening.

    June 25, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    Peter E –

    That might have been the dumbest comment I've seen on the Ticker today, outside of the bible thumpers calling Obama the antichrist.

    Can you explain your comment about Democrats voting for who has what on their Itunes? What the $#** are you talking about? This is not a football game we're discussing where we blindly follow our school team, it's about who has the best mind to lead the country for the next four years. No side is perfect, but at least most Democrats offer more rational solutions.

    June 25, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Lynette

    Conservatives are scary, they act like they justify having prejudiced views and calling that conservative. Let's call it what it is...bigotry and ignorance.

    June 25, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. amt, Fresno,CA

    The GOP is consistently OFF BASE, is anyone listening to their crap/rhetaric? Obama for Pres. 08

    June 25, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Rave

    McCain is a pain,
    he has no brain,
    he will loose in vain,
    and start taking cocain......... 🙂
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    June 25, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. independent

    low turnout is because utah is voting democrat this fall.

    June 25, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    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.

    Go Democrats!

    June 25, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Jan

    Well, I have been watching fox since the crooked dem primary and am happy to say they talk about John McCain and give him equal time on their network as they are unbiased. You repubs might as well stay off this blog–they do not post your comments–just slobbery Obama lovers who can't see his political trickery and lies. What happened to the famous "seal?" In the garbage where it belongs? Working nurse for McCain–former Mich democrat

    June 25, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Dab

    That guy has a huge hand

    June 25, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. former republican gone liberal

    Good Canon was a nucense in the Congress and didn't deserve to be there.

    June 25, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Sheilah, Philadelphia


    Please post another article for our opinions about Ralph Nader. The one you posted earlier has closed, and does not give the rest of us a chance to say how we really feel about this issue.

    Former Ralph Admirer

    June 25, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Jim

    This is just the beginning of the end for the republicans, my friends. No more McSame or McWar, whichever you'd prefer.

    June 25, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  23. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA



    June 25, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Crush Rush

    Theres nothing worse than a line jumper.It happens at stores movies,concerts,night clubs etc. and nobody puts up with it there.

    June 25, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  25. Down with Obama

    Gallup Daily: Obama, McCain Tied at 45%

    Obama had held at least a slim advantage for most of JuneUSA Election 2008 Gallup Daily Americas Northern America PRINCETON, NJ - The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update on the presidential election finds John McCain and Barack Obama exactly tied at 45% among registered voters nationwide.

    Please Print this CNN

    June 25, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7