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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Hinckley Institute Chooses Chaffetz as Politician of the Year

(Photo by Cole Tan)
(Photo by Cole Tan)
(Photo by Cole Tan)


The Hinckley Institute of Politics chose Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as their “Politician of the Year” on Friday. This marks the first year that the award was given at the U.

Kirk Jowers, director of the Hinckley Institute, introduced Chaffetz as “the happy warrior,” who enjoys his work in Congress. He also commended Chaffetz on his willingness to reach out to students at the U.

“This is perhaps the greatest generation our country has ever had, but they are also the least politically engaged generation we have ever had,” Jowers said. “Rep. Chaffetz is trying to make a difference in our society and is acting in a way which should be emulated by the youth.”

Chaffetz is a well-known conservative from Utah County, who advocates for community involvement. At the Friday award reception, he said everyone has the ability to make a difference in America, particularly through speaking up. He also encouraged U students to talk to people with different opinions from their own.

The representative spoke of his inexperience when he started in Congress in 2009. On his first day in Washington, D.C., Chaffetz said he approached John Boehner, now Speaker of the House, but then Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, to ask for help.

“I don’t know what I don’t know, so tell me what I need to know,” Chaffetz recalled saying to Boehner.

It was this conversation where Chaffetz said he received his most valuable piece of advice, which he has kept in mind during his time in Congress, as well as in his everyday life: “It’s OK to disagree, but don’t be disagreeable.”

Chaffetz told students in attendance at the Hinckley Institute to follow this same guidance, and to go above and beyond what is expected to be successful. He said it’s what got him elected to office.

“I won my election because I was willing to do what other people in my shoes weren’t willing to do,” Chaffetz said. “I spent day and night analyzing votes, calling citizens and going door to door to spread the message of what I envisioned for this country. The hard work made all the difference.”

He also advised students at the U to get involved in whatever capacity they can if they want to change today’s political scene.

“Public policy belongs to those who show up,” he said, “so show up.”

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