Republican explores challenging Chaffetz


Damian Kidd says Chaffetz’s personal political aspirations guide his decisions in DC, cites flip-flopping and a decade in office as vulnerabilities for Chaffetz.

American Fork, Utah - January 18, 2017 — Republican Damian Kidd, from American Fork, announced he is testing the waters in a potential bid for Congress to replace Representative Jason Chaffetz in 2018.  He believes Representative Jason Chaffetz has been in DC too long and is more interested in advancing his own career than in representing Utah. Jason Chaffetz will have been in federal office for 10 years by 2018.

“America has enough career politicians. Undoubtedly, political debt accumulates after a decade, and we need a representative that answers only to us. It’s time for Jason Chaffetz to step aside so that a representative with a citizen's perspective, fresh passion and less political debt can represent Utahns. This would require him to give up his beloved camera time, which I don’t think he’s willing to do.  He has either become intoxicated by power or has nothing going in the private sector - or both,” said potential candidate Damian Kidd.

In 2012, Chaffetz flirted with running for US Senate against Orrin Hatch.  Recently, he has floated the idea of running for governor in 2020.

“Chaffetz isn’t concerned about Utah; he’s concerned about Chaffetz. He’s looking for higher office.  Chaffetz is not serving us but is, instead, tactically navigating a political path for his own advancement,” said Kidd.

Recently, Chaffetz has been the target of national criticism from both major parties for his flip-flopping on numerous issues.  Most noteworthy was when he announced that he wouldn’t be able to look his daughter in the eye if he were to support Donald Trump (when polls showed Trump losing) but then, 18 days later, publicly tweeting that he was voting for Trump.

“It was a shrewd, calculated move just prior to the big election meant to hedge his bet, the type of move that only a DC insider - a career politician - would want or need to do.  A genuine statesman would have taken and held a true position or refrained from using the situation to create yet another media opportunity for himself. Chaffetz’s most recent two-month media blitz has revealed just how fluid his positions are, and Utah could pay the price,” said Kidd.

Last year, over 35 percent of the Republican State Delegates voted against Chaffetz at convention.

“A lot of people in his own state party are clearly unhappy with him. I hear the dissatisfaction from his constituents on a daily basis and via social media.  People are tired of these career politicians.  By putting my name out there early as a possible alternative, I am hoping to get some sense of how many people are looking for someone new with fresh perspective and the proper motives,” said Kidd.

Kidd’s announcement signals his interest in running for office, but he is not yet an official candidate. He is in what the Federal Election Commission calls a testing-the-waters phase. This permits him to conduct research and raise limited funds, but prohibits him from campaigning.

Damian Kidd grew up in potato country, in Blackfoot, Idaho.  He has lived primarily in Utah County since 1996.  Damian is married to Jenifer Miller-Kidd from Springville, and they live in American Fork with their three children, ages two to 10 years.  Mr. Kidd has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a juris doctorate from the University of Idaho.  His law career includes serving as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Bingham County, Idaho, before moving back to Utah and joining the law office of Driggs Bills & Day.