Governor Herbert and legislators differ on special election to replace Jason Chaffetz

"It's called illegal": Rep. Dan McCay says Governor came up with a "secret list"

Salt Lake City - SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) - Representative Jason Chaffetz's resignation announcement has Governor Gary Herbert and some members of the Utah Legislature at odds over how the special election of his replacement should be conducted.

At a news conference Thursday morning Governor Herbert cited Utah state law.

"The Utah Code Title 20A Chapter 1 Part 5 Section 502 says explicitly 'When a vacancy occurs for any reason in the office of a representative in Congress, the governor shall issue...a proclamation calling an election to fill the vacancy'," Governor Herbert said. "So it's not a matter of can I or would I or should I. I am mandated to do that."

Representative Dan McCay (R - Riverton) says the Governor is overstepping his bounds by creating rules for the special election.

"I believe the statute says is that the Governor can call an election. He can't define the terms," Rep. McCay told ABC4 Utah News Thursday evening. "Anything he does to define the process is not in statute, is not  Constitution and it isn't founded....the Governor came up with a secret list in his own process and doesn't have statutory authority to do it so we have words for that. It's called illegal."

Utah House of Representatives Chief of Staff Greg Hartley issued a statement claiming the U.S. Constitution states: "...the Legislature is responsible for prescribing the process for elections. This is a separation of powers issue. The House and Senate Majority caucuses are unanimous in their support for a special session."

Several candidates are already aiming for the empty District 3 seat.

Clean air activist Carl Ingwell will announce his run on Friday.  Salt Lake City physician, Dr. Kathryn Allen is running as a Democrat. American Fork attorney Damian Kidd announced in January he will run for the seat as a Republican. Provo Mayor John Curtis tweeted he is "seriously considering" a run and more candidates are likely to come forward.

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