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SALT LAKE CITY — Jason Buck, who played football for BYU and in the NFL, said he's running for Congress as a Republican in either the 2nd District or the new 4th District.
Buck, now a minority owner of the Utah Blaze arena football team, motivational speaker, business consultant and regional sports commentator, said he'll decide after the new district boundaries are finalized this fall.
"We just believe that there's too much up in the air strategically until we find out exactly where the district lines are going to be," Buck, a resident of Highland, said.
He said he's making his first run for public office to fight for the U.S. Constitution and the restoration of the principles of the nation's Founding Fathers, such as self-reliance.
"I really believe our country is at a tipping point and the government needs to be rolled back," Buck said. "This is not meant to be a government of the masses that are fighting for entitlements, the have-nots taking from the haves."
He said the county is being run by a "huge federal government that sways the vote in order to empower themselves and be elected, pandering to the majority of the population." If elected, Buck said he would push for reducing federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.
"Do you go out and shotgun blast? No. It's definitely a battle of ideas," he said of the changes he would seek. "I think I'm a common-sense person. … I love my country. I know this will not be a fun experience."
Being a 1986 All-American at Brigham Young University and a player for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Washington Redskins will attract attention to his campaign, Buck said.
"It obviously helps with the name recognition," he said. "There will be that hurdle to overcome with people who think of you only as a football player."
The Utah Legislature is set to meet in special session beginning Oct. 3 to approve new congressional, legislative and State School Board boundaries based on the population changes identified by the 2010 Census.
Rep. Jim Matheson, Utah's only Democrat in Congress, currently holds the 2nd District seat. So far, the only declared candidate for the new 4th District seat is state Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman.
Buck has ruled out challenging the two sitting GOP congressmen, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, also a former BYU football player.