ELECTIONS

McMullin faces big election debt amid talk about run for Chaffetz seat

Former presidential candidate and co-founder of 'Stand up Republic' Evan McMullin explains

 

Evan McMullin, who ran as a "Never Trump" conservative in the 2016 presidential elections, is having financial trouble bouncing back from his defeat.

McMullin's latest filings with the Federal Election Commission show that he is $670,000 in campaign debt, with his largest debt of $520,000 to a Florida-based law firm, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

The debt became public at a time when he may need more political donors.

Chaffetz announces he will not seek re-election

McMullin, a Republican turn independent last year, and who described himself as a conservative alternative to Republican Donald Trump, has been vocal about plans to run for public office again.

And Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz announcing his resignation last week adds to speculation about McMullin perhaps gearing up to run for that seat.

In March, before the announcement by Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight committee, McMullin told Reddit in an "ask me anything" interview: “It is possible that I will challenge Chaffetz or Sen. (Orrin) Hatch. But there are a lot of factors that go into that decision. One of the primary factors is what the people of Utah want.”

McMullin was born in Chaffetz’s district and has strong ties to Utah’s 3rd congressional district. But he may have trouble gathering financial support if he does not repay the debts.

Joel Searby, McMullin's campaign manager, told the Associated Press: “We are working hard to do what we can within the law to retire as much debt as possible."

In the 2016 election, McMullin did not win any states but had his best showing in homestate Utah, receiving 21 percent of the vote.

He has also been mentioned as a possible challenger to Hatch in the 2018 midterm elections. Hatch is the longest serving Republican senator in history.