State Senator weighs in on replacing Chaffetz

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks with reporters at his home Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Alpine, Utah. Chaffetz said Thursday that he will resign from Congress next month, a move that calls into question the future of the House Oversight Committee's investigation he promised to lead about President Donald Trump's firing of the FBI director and his presidential campaign's ties with Russia. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-District 3, had already announced that he would not be seeking reelection when his term expires this year. Today, Chaffetz announced that he will be leaving earlier than that. He will be leaving his position on June 30.

State Senator Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, says he and other legislators are wondering now how Utah Governor Gary Herbert will go about replacing the congressman. That’s because when the Utah Constitution was developed, the senators were appointed by the Legislature, but the people elected the Congress.

“That’s the only one,” said Hillyard, “And so now the question is, our Utah law isn’t really geared to do that. If we do and go back and follow the Count My Vote option, the Senate Bill 54, it will take about 300 days or almost 10 months to replace the person.

“So what happens and when the Congress is so tightly divided like it is now—when the repeal of Obama Care passed with one vote—every vote is important?”

Meanwhile, some legislators have been arguing with Governor Herbert in the fight over a special election to replace Chaffetz.

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