At a Glance
- Career History: Founder, Maxtera Inc. (2005-2008), campaign manager and then chief-of-staff for Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (2004-2005); spokesman for Nu Skin International
- Birthday: March 26, 1967
- Hometown: Alpine, Utah
- Alma Mater: Brigham Young University, B.A.
- Spouse: Julie Chaffetz
- Religion: Mormon
- Committees: Oversight and Government Reform (chair, subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations); Judiciary; Natural Resources
- DC Office: 1032 Longworth House Office Building: (202) 225-7751
- District Office: Provo: (801) 851-2500; West Jordan: (801) 282-5502
Path to Power
Born in California, Chaffetz moved to Utah in 1985 to attend Brigham Young University on a football scholarship. He soon ventured into politics: His father's first wife, Kitty, was 1988 presidential nominee Michael Dukakis' (D) wife and Chaffetz co-chaired his Dukakis' Utah campaign.
He has described coming to "recognize that [he] was a very conservative person" in the years following Dukakis' defeat; as an explanation for this evolution, he has cited the experience of receiving a steady paycheck from cosmetic firm Nu Skin Enterprises - his employer for 12 years, his marriage, his conversion to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and a 1991 meeting with Ronald Reagan.
"Only a genuine return to our core values and principles will deliver the results voters want and deserve," Chaffetz wrote Politico op-ed in January 2009. Concerned that congressional Republicans have lost their way, he is committed to pushing the GOP to embrace a more consistently conservative platform, especially on fiscal matters but also on immigration and environmental issues.
For instance, Chaffetz has chastised Huntsman -- his former boss and now Obama's ambassador to China -- for lending credence to global warming, calling it "a farce." He has opposed as unconstitutional efforts to grant Washington, D.C., a congressional seat, even though the proposed legislation would also increase Utah's congressional delegation.
While on the campaign trail, Chaffetz cited his desire to be a "wingman" for Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), known challenging his GOP colleagues on fiscal spending and pushing earmark reform. In the House, he helped launch the Sunset Caucus, which he now co-chairs with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
He has also introduced legislation pertaining to his home state with Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah); for instance, the two joined forces in an attempt to force the U.S. Census to include Mormon missionaries in their counts. Chaffetz also was once a top aide to former Gov. Jon Huntsman (R), who now serves as U.S. ambassador to China; many speculate Huntsman could be a future presidential candidate.