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Republicans file complaint against Chaffetz challenger

Published October 17, 2012 3:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The Utah Republican Party has filed two complaints against the Democrat running against Rep. Jason Chaffetz for failing to disclose his personal and campaign finances on time.

Soren Simonsen, the chairman of the Salt Lake City Council, should have reported his campaign contributions in July, but only made his first report this week. He also missed a deadline to detail his personal finances with the House of Representatives.

"Unlike Mr. Simonsen, the Utah Republican Party believes that transparency is important," wrote Lowell Nelson, the party's vice chairman, in a letter to the Federal Election Commission. Lowell sent a separate letter to the House Ethics Committee.

Simonsen acknowledged making a mistake by missing deadlines, noting an inexperienced campaign staff.

"It certainly wasn't intentional," he said. "And in the grand scheme of things it's not significant."

Simonsen said to his knowledge he is now in full compliance with FEC disclosure requirements.

He has reported only raising $20,000 for his congressional campaign. Chaffetz, a two-term incumbent, is seen as a large favorite in the conservative district.