Congressional Profile: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is the second most conservative Member of the House or Representatives according to our Legislative Scorecard. Currently holding a score of 97%, Rep. Chaffetz was originally elected in 2008, which was an extremely difficult year for Republicans. He won that year with 66% of the vote, and won re-election in 2010 even easier, with 72% of the vote.
Rep. Chaffetz was born in Los Gatos, California, in 1967. He received his Bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University on an athletic scholarship. His football career included two years as the starting placekicker, where he set two school records.He was raised a Democrat, but became a Republican in 1990, after meeting Ronald Reagan. His political views had been drifting in that direction prior to the meeting, even while he worked as a co-chairman for Michael Dukakis’s 1988 Presidential campaign while he was still in college.
After college, Rep. Chaffetz became a spokesman for Nu Skin International, where he worked when he met Ronald Reagan. In 2004, Rep. Chaffetz worked as Jon Huntsman’s campaign manager for his gubernatorial race. After winning the election, Rep. Chaffetz became Gov. Huntsman’s chief of staff before returning to the private sector later that year. There he managed his own business, Maxtera Utah, a corporate communications and marketing company.
In 2007, Rep. Chaffetz decided to run for Congress, and handily beat incumbent Chris Cannon for the Republican nomination in a primary.
Rep. Chaffetz was selected to chair the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations. He also sits on the Budget Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
He is a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus and co-founded the Sunset Caucus, which is made up of Members who run a lean office and give money back to the government at the end of each year. He even sleeps on a cot in his office to save taxpayers money on housing for him when Congress is in session.
Rep. Chaffetz believes in limited government, fiscal discipline and a strong national defense, and he frequently appears on media outlets in order to push that message.
Rep. Chaffetz loves the outdoors and can often be found hiking when back home in Utah. He has been married to his wife, Julie, for over 20 years. The couple has three children and belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Stay tuned tomorrow for a questionnaire with Rep. Chaffetz.