Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News
Morgan Philpot speaks to a group of his supporters at the Republican party gathering at the Salt Lake Hilton, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010.

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Morgan Philpot said Wednesday he's considering another run for Congress.

Philpot, who narrowly lost last year's 2nd District race to Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, said he's forming a committee to "test the waters" for another candidacy.

"All the same reason I ran the first time are there," Philpot said. "Debt, fiscal conservative, they're all there still."

And after running a race with virtually no help from the national party, Philpot said Matheson "is back on the Republican radar," already targeted by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

But Philpot said he's not sure yet which congressional seat he'll seek in the 2012 election. "It's safe to say I will be following my constituency from the 2010 congressional race," he said. "Whether they end up in the 2nd or 3rd District is up the Legislature."

State lawmakers are currently redrawing the congressional boundaries to accommodate a new, fourth seat allocated to Utah in the 2010 Census.

Philpot, who moved from American Fork to Orem after the election, said he probably won't decide until after the redistricting process is completed later this fall.

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Federal law allows potential candidates to raise up to $5,000 to explore the feasibility of getting into a race before having to file with the Federal Elections Commission.

Philpot said he and his former campaign team have been talking for some time about the possibility of another race. "I think for everybody, it's just a given," he said.

Both Matheson and 3rd District Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, are looking at running for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. Matheson has said if he doesn't seek another term in Congress, he is also considering challenging GOP Gov. Gary Herbert.


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