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 HatchTrump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify 'Congress' worst tax idea ever'? Hardly. MORE (R-Utah) or Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzHouse Dems seek to make officials feel the pain Lawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay Top Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’ MORE (R-Utah).

McMullin, who unsuccessfully ran for the White House as an anti-Donald Trump 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 TrumpDonald John TrumpComey: Barr is 'sliming his own department' GOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report Acting DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report MORE 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 ClintonTop Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump threatens jail time over 'treason' and 'spying' Several factors have hindered 'next up' presidential candidates in recent years MORE’s 27 percent and McMullin’s 22 percent.