Rep. Chaffetz Set to Challenge McCarthy for House Speaker
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is expected to join the race for speakership after John Boehner announced he will be stepping down as Speaker and resign from his seat later this month.
According to a report by Politico, the 48-year-old pol will be challenging Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy who’s considered a favorite to win the caucus leadership vote set for October 8.
Chaffetz was born and raised Jewish. His father, John Chaffetz, was Jewish and his mother was a Christian Scientist. But converted to Mormonism as an undergrad on a football scholarship at Brigham Young University, according to the Forward.
Former Congressman Eric Cantor once had his sights set on becoming the first Jewish Speaker of the House of Representatives. But a Republican primary challenger ended his political ambitions for now.
The report of Chaffetz’s expected run comes a day after he called on McCarthy to apologize for suggesting that the Benghazi panel’s work has aimed to hurt Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the polls. “Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy said on Fox News earlier this week. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought.”
Chaffetz, who serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said on Thursday that McCarthy ought to apologize for his remarks. “[It is] an absolutely inappropriate statement,” Chaffetz said on CNN. “That was not the reason we started. We started because there were four dead Americans and we didn’t have answers.”