PROVO (AP/Deseret News) President Bush is taking sides in a hot Utah congressional race.
Bush is endorsing incumbent Chris Cannon over two Republican challengers, just days before the state Republican Party convention.
Cannon needs support from 60 percent of the delegates or he'll face a primary election. His challengers are Jason Chaffetz, a former aide to Gov. Jon Huntsman, and Dave Leavitt, the brother of former Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt.
"I have not seen (the letter) but I expected the president to endorse Chris Cannon," said Chaffetz. "Chris Cannon supported the president on No Child Left Behind, immigration and some other things, so it's no surprise."
In the endorsement letter, Bush says it's important to have Cannon return to Washington for another two-year term.
Bush also endorsed Cannon when he had Republican opposition in 2006. During that campaign, a similar letter was written by Bush, but it was sent out during the primary. Both Chaffetz and Leavitt feel that this shows Cannon is feeling the pressure more than in years' past.
"What is interesting is not that he did it, but when he did it," said Leavitt. "We think it demonstrates that Cannon's campaign believes he has more vulnerability than he did before."
- Was pregnancy rumor a factor in killing of...
- Two men charged with vandalizing LDS church...
- Missing oilfield worker's body found near Vernal
- Jenna Kim Jones: The new, cool face of Mormonism
- Chris and Sally Mart create a refuge for...
- Father says daughter was stabbed 46 times
- 10-year-old honored for saving little brother
- We were there: See Deseret News front pages...
- Utahns not as strongly opposed to... 84
- Love not attending Salt Lake City... 60
- Federal government extends same-sex... 40
- Autopsy shows man posed no threat to... 25
- Jenna Kim Jones: The new, cool face of... 20
- Group meeting in Salt Lake to plan 2015... 20
- Support for statewide nondiscrimination... 17
- Police arrest 3 suspected of... 16