Matheson Hard to Beat, Republicans Say

Matheson Hard to Beat, Republicans Say

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Republicans say Utah's lone Democrat in Congress is getting harder to beat at the polls.

Republicans are voting for U-S. Rep. Jim Matheson, the son of popular former Utah governor.

Matheson won a third term last November with help from 30,000 Republicans in Salt Lake County alone.

Each election seems to make him stronger, party insiders conceded at a state G-O-P convention yesterday.

Frank Guliuzza is the former vice chairman of the Utah Republican Party and head of the political science department at Weber State University.

He said Matheson is close to owning his district for a long time.

State Party Chairman Joe Cannon said he was trying to line up a serious challenger, but joked about trying to get Matheson to switch parties.

Among potential challengers for the 2006 election are Jason Chaffetz, chief of staff for Gov. Jon Huntsman; state Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper; Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard, and KSL radio personality Doug Wright.

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

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