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Mark Shutleff to decide on run for U.S. Senate next week

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utah's Attorney General is giving "prayerful consideration" to challenging Republican incumbent Bob Bennett.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - As he nears a final decision, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff is giving "prayerful consideration" to running for the U.S. Senate.

In an exclusive interview with ABC 4, Shurtleff says he will make a decision about challenging Bob Bennett by the end of next week.

In a very candid interview Wednesday, Attorney General Mark Shurtleff told us he wants to run for senator.

But his wife is a different story.

Mark Shurtleff told us, "She asked for a month to talk me out of it."

Shurtleff's wife, according to the attorney general, has concerns about things like:

“...having to commute, being away from the kids, being out of their lives, being out of her life, that's hard."

Shurtleff says he'll decide next week whether to challenge fellow G.O.P. incumbent Bob Bennett.

But the attorney general is quick to add about Bennett:

"He's definitely vulnerable."

Despite his family's opposition, Shurtleff found himself wanting to run more than ever after Salt Lake’s April 15th big Tea Party Protest.

Shurtleff said, "I thought that night, you know, if I really believe what I just told people, am I a hypocrite if I don't do something about it?"

Not only would Shurtleff face a tough, well funded incumbent in Bob Bennett, but DABC Commission Chairman and businessman Sam Granato is also likely to enter the race soon as a democrat.

Wednesday, Shurtleff told ABC 4, "It's hard and, I'll be frank, I am putting prayerful consideration into it as well."

But Mrs. Shurtleff is resourceful.

The attorney general says she actually, "…downloaded six years of senate calendars to show all the days they're in session and put a big red mark on every day they were in session and you put that on the kitchen table in front of the kids and you go...(Shurtleff's eyes bulge in disbelief)"

But Mark Shurtleff is not one to shy away from a political heavyweight bout with Bennett.

The attorney general assures ABC 4, "It would be a heckuva race. Absolutely."

We also asked Mark Shurtleff if he would run for governor in 2012 if he doesn't run for senate next year.

And he told us, his family likes the idea of him being governor even less than it likes him being a senator.

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