Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff Officially Announces His Intent To Challenge Bob Bennett For His U.S. Senate Seat

It's now official - Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff held a press conference on May 20th, 2009, during which he announced his intent to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Bennett for the Republican nomination. This fight ought to be a slobberknocker.

During his press conference held on the state capitol steps, Shurtleff announced that he will run for the U.S. Senate to help salvage America from the slide towards socialism. In a fiery speech filled with red-meat rhetoric by talk-show hosts, Shurtleff blamed Senator Bennett but for actively aiding and abetting the series of bailouts and giveaways passed by Congress.

"Not the bigger government, corporate welfare, radical liberal nannyism type of change promised and now being implemented by [President Barack] Obama. But, starting today, we the people of Utah, we the people of the United States, are taking back America!... Instead of promoting principles of individual responsibility, he let us down and looked upon government as the solution", proclaimed Shurtleff. He concluded by saying that time is of the essence in saving our country.

Story also posted on KSL Channel 5. A prospective Democratic contender is Sam Granato, a Salt Lake City restaurateur. He has yet to formally announce his candidacy.

-- Read the full text of Shurtleff's speech HERE.
-- Visit Mark Shurtleff's official campaign website HERE.
-- Read Mark Shurtleff's personal blog HERE.

KSL news video embedded below (KSTU video removed so I could successfully embed another Worldnow-produced news video on a later post; Worldnow changed their embed code so that one cannot successfully embed more than one Worldnow video per blog page):

Video Courtesy of

Boosting Shurtleff's confidence was a poll which showed that he can compete against Bennett. According to the poll, which can be viewed HERE, Shurtleff polls ahead of Bennett among GOP delegates, and that 26 percent of those delegates viewed Bennett unfavorably. In a head-to-head contest, Bennett would get 38 percent of the delegate vote, Shurtleff 31 percent with 24 percent undecided.

Mark Shurtleff was re-elected Attorney General in November 2008 with 69 percent of the vote. He had moved to a more moderate position as A.G. to promote confidence in his stewardship among all Utahns. Now he's moved back to a more conservative position, because he knows that, outside of Salt Lake City and Park City, conservatives who run as conservatives win elections. Three noteworthy examples: Jason Chaffetz ran to the right of Chris Cannon and beat him, Curt Bramble easily fended off a spirited challenge by RaDene Hatfield in Provo, and even the embattled Chris Buttars struggled to victory over John Rendell in Senate District 10.

Senator Bennett is not only under fire for supporting Obama's bailouts, but is also being criticized for allegedly violating a term limits pledge given to delegates in 1992, when he said he would only serve a single six-year term. Bennett is currently on his third term and is seeking a fourth term. The issue here isn't so much "term limits"; I'm opposed to such, but that he violated a personal pledge.

And Bennett's vote against HR627 for credit card reform will hurt him further. Credit card predation has affected Utahns of all political stripes, yet Bennett was one of only five senators voting against it. Even Kentucky's hardline conservative Republican senator Jim Bunning voted for it. Worse yet, Bennett has failed to explain his vote publicly; he's not even posted an explanation on his website. This implies that his commitment to accountability has weakened and he's taking the constituency for granted. This is the same problem experienced by Chris Cannon, and it cost Cannon.

Mark Shurtleff is married with five kids. To avoid uprooting his family if elected, he's hinted at commuting back and forth between Washington and Utah. While somewhat expensive and cumbersome, this may help keep his ties to the state cemented and help him avoid the arrogance of power which undermined Chris Cannon and is now affecting Bob Bennett. Shurtleff will be a worthy successor to Bob Bennett.

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