Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Democrat Dunn Challenges Utah Rep. Cannon
Washington Post (Congressional Quarterly) 20Jun00 D2
By Mary Clare Jalonick: Congressional Quarterly
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The loss by two-term 2nd District incumbent
Utah Republican Rep. Merrill Cook in yesterday's primary election in
Utah leaves LDS Internet entrepreneur Derek Smith facing a stiff
challenge from LDS Democratic candidate Jim Matheson. But the
troubles Cook has faced have covered up the challenge faced by
two-term LDS Republican Rep. Christopher B. Cannon, who is facing his
own challenge in the general election.
The Democratic candidate that Cannon is facing, Donald Dunn, is
quietly gaining financial support and recognition. Cannon is a
wealthy venture capitalist, who has not hesitated to pour money into
his previous elections. Yet, he has not donated anything to his own
campaign so far.
Jeff Hartley, a Cannon spokesman said, "If [Cannon] needs to, he can write
a check today for a quarter-million dollars." "All of the money that Donald
Dunn raises, he can match in a day. We haven't focused on fundraising at
Utah observers have dubbed Dunn's emergence this year as a political
version of "the tortoise and the hare." Cannon denies these allegations
saying he's been too busy handling legislation to gear up for the campaign.
Recent polls show Cannon support at 35 percent while Dunn has 23 percent.
Other candidates received 13 percent with 28 percent undecided. Dunn and
his supporters argue that Cannon is too much of a "cheerleader for the
party." He has been called too Republican. Yet in the sprawling eastern
Utah district that includes Provo and Orem, the majority of Mormons with a
strong conservative bent could prove to be a strong point.
Cannon aide Hartley said that for a Democrat to win in this district, "it
takes a weak Republican or a couple of million bucks. Dunn has raised an
impressive amount of money considering his age, resume and the [conservative
nature of] the district, but it is far short of what he would need to mount
a significant challenge."