WASHINGTON — Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, has created a political action committee aimed at getting "like-minded" contributors — and candidates — involved in the election process.

The Eagle PAC has been in the planning stages for a while, but Cannon officially filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to create the entity in January, said Cannon's chief of staff, Joe Hunter.

It is not uncommon for members of Congress to have PACs, which collect money and then donate it to other candidates' election campaigns or to other PACs. Hunter said the results of the November 2006 election really pushed Cannon to organize the PAC, even though it had been an idea long before that.

"We need to reclaim some of those seats we lost," Hunter said.

The PAC will focus on electing conservative candidates with a record similar to Cannon's — pro-economic growth, pro-national security and conservative values, Hunter said.

Most of the PAC's chief organizers are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But Hunter said the goal of the PAC is not just to recruit Mormon candidates.

"The purpose is not to get more Mormons elected," Hunter said, but with Cannon being Mormon himself and from Utah, "one would expect there to be interest among Mormon contributors and candidates."

Board members include Cannon; Bart Marcois, who worked on President Bush's 2004 campaign; and Bill Simmons, who is a lobbyist in Washington at Dutko Worldwide.

Provo City Councilman Steve Turley and Ron Kaufman, executive-committee chairman for Dutko Worldwide and an adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are also involved with the PAC, according to the Web site www.eaglepac.com.

Cannon has organized two fund-raising arms in the past in the past: the House Managers PAC and the Western Leadership Fund.

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