Scott M. Matheson Jr. to Run for Governor

Scott M. Matheson Jr. to Run for Governor

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Richard Piatt ReportingScott Matheson Jr. is laying the groundwork for a run for Governor next year. Matheson confirms he filed the documents necessary to start raising campaign money this week.

This news is stirring up excitement, especially among Democrats, in an otherwise hum-drum political year. And even though Matheson says he's merely testing the fund-raising market, chances are good he's in this for the long haul. Scott Matheson is careful not to refer to himself as a candidate yet, but there are things about the state's budget, education and economic development he says need a fresh look.

Scott Matheson, Jr., Possible Candidate For Governor: "Well, I'm sensing the voters are looking for a new face and some new perspectives on the issues confronting the state."

Translation: A Democrat's perspective, something Utah hasn't seen since 1985 when Matheson's father, Scott Senior left office. Since then, state government has become overwhelmingly Republican.

Political pollster Dan Jones says Matheson's chances will depend partly on Republican cross-over voters: those who split the ticket and pick a Democrat.

Dan Jones, Political Pollster: "It is the best chance Democrats have had in 20 years to win the gubernatorial seat, but also it will make the Republicans work that much harder."

Another factor is who the Republicans' candidate will be. Governor Leavitt will not announce his intentions until later this summer. But the list of other GOP possibilities is impressive, including former Congressman Jim Hansen, Jon Huntsman Junior, House Speaker Marty Stephens and ex-speaker Nolan Karras.

A Scott Matheson-for Governor Campaign could also run alongside a Jim Matheson for Congress campaign. That would mean for the first time in Utah history two brothers would be running for a both a Federal and Statewide office. Is it creating a Matheson 'dynasty?'

Scott Matheson, Jr., Possible Candidate For Governor: "When you talk about dynasties, the only dynasty I see out there is one party domination for a generation. And that's something I think we need to talk about during the campaign."

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