American Fork resident Damian Kidd, a Republican, announced Tuesday his intent to challenge U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah's Third Congressional District in 2018.
Kidd, an attorney who describes himself as a politically conservative constitutionalist, previously announced that he may run against Chaffetz. He said in a press release that his "testing-the-waters effort" had given him the feedback he needed to make a decision to launch a campaign.
"I quickly found that enough people are interested in an alternative to cause me to launch this campaign," Kidd said in a press release. "I can't tell you at this moment that I know I have this or that percent chance of winning, but I can tell you that a principled, qualified, dedicated and objective candidate has a viable chance of defeating Jason Chaffetz, and I can tell you I am those things."
Kidd described himself as "very conservative" on economic issues, and said he would apply conservative principles to the national debt. He tends to be more Libertarian on social issues, he said, though he also described himself as pro-life.
"My birth mother was 15 when she gave birth to me," Kidd said. "So my views on that are pretty strong."
Kidd named several reasons he decided to challenge Chaffetz. For starters, he thinks Chaffetz, who was first elected in 2008, has been in office for too long.
"I'm a big believer in limiting terms," Kidd said. "I think it's time for him to get back in the private sector and do something else."
Kidd said if elected, he planned to term-limit himself to no more than three or four terms in office.
But beyond Chaffetz's multiple terms in office, Kidd said he is disappointed in the way Chaffetz has handled his leadership position as chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
"He is not operating the committee in a non-partisan way," Kidd said. "I'm a conservative Republican, and I hope Donald Trump succeeds, but the House Oversight Committee shouldn't be protecting Trump from common sense oversight standard review. Yet, it sounds like he'll continue to investigate Hillary (Clinton)."
Kidd said his leadership style would differ from Chaffetz in that he would listen to input from those on the opposite side of the political spectrum from himself.
"I think that's one problem we have," Kidd said. "Everyone in Washington is so divisive, and they're not finding solutions to hard problems."
Kidd is married to Jenifer Miller-Kidd from Springville, the press release said. The two have lived in American Fork since 2012, and before that, lived in Springville since 2007. Kidd said he has lived in Utah County since 1996, with the exception of three years he lived in Idaho.
Kidd received his bachelor's degree in political science from Brigham Young University, and a juris doctorate from the University of Idaho, the press release said. He previously served as the deputy prosecuting attorney for Bingham County, Idaho, and currently works at the law office of Driggs Bills and Day in American Fork.