Kathryn Allen — a Utah physician who says she will run against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in the 2018 midterm elections — was featured on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” with Maddow talking about Allen's political aspirations.
Maddow discussed how Allen saw an increase in donations following Chaffetz’s comment about iPhones and health care on CNN's "New Day" Tuesday.
"Americans have choices. And they've got to make a choice,” Chaffetz said. “And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They've got to make those decisions themselves.”
Chaffetz clarified his comments on Fox News, saying that he might not have said his words “as smoothly as I possibly could, but people need to make a conscious choice and I believe in self-reliance.”
In addition to speaking with Maddow, Allen, a Democrat, also spoke with The Huffington Post about her aspirations. She said she had to file with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday because of all the donations she received.
“So now I’m official,” she said, according to The Huffington Post.
Allen also announced her plans to run against Chaffetz on Twitter and set up an ActBlue page so she can receive donations.
Allen said she understands it's going to be tough to win Chaffetz's district, but she felt called to challenge him.
She said her recent spike in popularity encouraged her to keep fighting.
“I’ve got to be encouraged," she told The Huffington Post. "I mean, yesterday (Tuesday) was — I decided there’s probably going to be moments during this campaign where I’m downhearted and discouraged. But when the good days come, you should enjoy them. So I’m enjoying this week a lot!”
Mic’s Celeste Katz had the first interview with Allen following Chaffetz's gaffe, in which the Democrat similarly said she still has a major mountain to climb if she wants to defeat the incumbent in 2018.
"I've got my work cut out for me," she told Mic.
Chaffetz's comments caused donations to Allen to skyrocket Tuesday. Allen originally set a fundraising goal of $50,000, and that amount climbed to $75,000 after she received $65,000 in donations. According to her CrowdPac page, she has now raised more than $293,000 with a goal of $400,000.
“As a family physician, I have spent my 30 year professional career caring for my patients and 26 years in a nurturing relationship with my husband and three stepchildren,” Allen wrote on her ActBlue page. “Now it is time to care for our country. I believe that the democratic protections we have taken for granted are under threat. The very nature of honesty and integrity has been under assault. Truth is flatlining and needs CPR. There is an objective reality out there, and, as a woman of science, I intend to protect that reality.”