(KCPW News) Attorney General Mark Shurtleff announced yesterday he'll run against three-term U.S. Senator Bob Bennett in the 2010 election. Shurtleff says his biggest challenge right now is money.
"It's expensive to run a statewide campaign, particularly when already Senator Bennett is running television ads. My plan is it's a grassroots effort. I want to beat him at convention, that's a big row to hoe, as you know that. If I can't do that, then I'll have to go to the airwaves, and that's expensive," Shurtleff says. "So I'm getting started right now. I believe I'm never going to raise dollar for dollar, and I don't think I have to. But I do need enough to get the message out and I'll get there."
Shurtleff had been feeling out the possibility of running against Bennett for the past few months, and accidentally sent a message on Twitter last week that he had decided to go for it. He addressed more than 100 supporters on the steps of the Utah Capitol yesterday to make it official. Shurtleff still has campaign cash from his run for a second term as Attorney General. A bill passed by the Utah legislature earlier this year allows him to transfer that money to his Senate campaign. But he doesn't plan on doing so.
"The state legislature passed a law that said I could do that. But, [it's] questionable whether that's going to be accepted by the federal government. I don't want to be the test case. And I don't need to be," Shurtleff says. "You know that money is there. If I lose this race, it could be used for a potential future state race or I could use it for charitable purposes or for helping other legislators or public officials. So, I'm not going to touch that money, I don't need to."
Shurtleff is painting himself as the more conservative candidate of the two Republicans. Former Utah County GOP Chairman Tim Bridgewater may also join the race.