Developer John Jacob Will Challenge Rep. Chris Cannon

Developer John Jacob Will Challenge Rep. Chris Cannon

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OREM, Utah (AP) -- Millionaire real estate developer John D. Jacob has announced he will challenge five-term U.S. Rep. and fellow Republican Chris Cannon.

Cannon has faced opposition from other Republicans in all of his races in the 3rd U.S. House District.

"I appreciate the service Congressman Cannon has given," Jacob said Monday in a prepared statement. "Yet at this time we need a strong, more aggressive representative watching out for our families in this district and in our country."

He said he has always wanted to run for public office.

"I look and see a lot of attorneys who are politicians and I would like to see a lot more business people who are politicians," he said.

Jacob initially considered running against Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, but changed his mind late in the summer. He visited each member of Utah's congressional delegation in Washington over Labor Day weekend, including Cannon.

"It was different than the other four," Jacob said Monday. "Of course, I'm running against him. You could tell he was threatened."

Joe Hunter, Cannon's chief of staff, said, "We always look forward to a vigorous campaign. We take any opponent seriously. This campaign will be no different."

Cannon, who also is a millionaire, reported having $66,000 in campaign funds as of June 30.

Jacob said, "I have the ability to spend whatever is needed. I'd prefer it would come from donations from others. I'm thinking $500,000 to $1 million is what it's going to take."

State Sen. Curt Bramble, Cannon's campaign treasurer, also has been thinking of entering the race. He said Monday that he will make a decision before the end of the year.

Democrats also plan to challenge Cannon again.

"We definitely will have a strong contender there," state Democratic Party chairman Wayne Holland said. "Right now it's an issue of whether we can handle a race against an incumbent war chest, but with the possibility there will be an open seat in the November 2006 election because Cannon might lose in a primary, there is unusual interest among potential candidates."

Jacob was appointed to a one-year term on the first Eagle Mountain City Council in the 1990s. He ran to keep the seat but lost. His wife, Diane Kimball Jacob, later successfully ran for City Council. She resigned her seat a year ago.

Jacob said he has differences with Cannon on immigration reform and other issues.

Cannon, a co-sponsor of bipartisan federal legislation that would streamline employment of foreign laborers, has been a target of immigration reform groups.

Hunter estimated those groups spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last election.

"It is highly likely Congress will deal with the immigration issue between now and next year's election," Hunter said, "That will be the opportunity for people to see what Chris Cannon's position is on immigration. It will be very strong on border enforcement and internal enforcement."

Jacob said, "I do have a different viewpoint about it. I feel we at least need to enforce the laws we have."

Jacob said he also supports protecting families and building a robust economy with low taxes and limited government.

"We need to protect and preserve the integrity of the American family and guarantee our children in Utah and across the nation a better future," he said.

Jacob began selling real estate while at Brigham Young University. He got a job as an air traffic controller when President Ronald Reagan fired striking controllers in 1981.

He returned to selling real estate 10 years ago and started selling water rights to developers.

He also is a majority owner in a computer training company called Makau.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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