Kathryn Allen is the underdog running against Chaffetz. See why she’s suddenly on the rise
Kathryn Allen — a Democrat who may run against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in 2018 — just saw a spike in donations and popularity.
Allen’s Crowdpac fundraising page saw a $40,000 increase on Monday, which broke the record for the most funds donated in one day through the fundraising platform, according to Mic.
Cell phone vs. health ins. People have to make a choice. Yes they do, Jason! https://t.co/9iuL6an4og
— Kathie Allen (@kathrynallenmd) March 7, 2017
Allen’s success in fundraising came on the same day that Chaffetz told CNN’s “New Day” that Americans may have to choose between a new iPhone and health insurance.
“Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice,” Chaffetz said on the program. “And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”
GOP Rep. Chaffetz: Americans may need to choose between "new iphone… they just love" and investing in health care https://t.co/5Hxwn2uOl5
— New Day (@NewDay) March 7, 2017
Chaffetz later clarified his comments on Fox News Tuesday morning.
“Well, what we’re trying to say, and maybe I didn’t say it as smoothly as I possibly could, but people need to make a conscious choice and I believe in self-reliance,” he said.
Cleanup, Aisle Chaffetz on Fox re: iPhone comment: "Maybe I didn't say it as smoothly as I possibly could…" pic.twitter.com/1AS76zTjRp
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) March 7, 2017
Despite the clarifications, Chaffetz’s gaffe trended across the United States. Social media users shared criticism’s of his remarks.
Cost of a new iPhone, no contract: $670
Median per-capita healthcare costs: $10,345 https://t.co/p5pTu0s1Ju
— Christopher Ingraham (@_cingraham) March 7, 2017
If you really like your existing iPhone, do you get to keep it under the Republican health care plan?
— Elliott Lusztig (@ezlusztig) March 7, 2017
And it seems Allen, a physician, benefited from the comments through fundraising.
“I feel exhilarated, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘There’s going to be bad days during this next year and a half, but this is a really good one, and I ought to enjoy it,'” Allen said Tuesday night, according to Mic.
Allen first announced a potential political run on Feb. 11 when she started her Crowdpac page. She’d raised $15,000 up until this week with a goal of $50,000.
Now, she’s raised more than $65,000 with a goal of $75,000.
Allen listed political ethics and civil discourse as main reasons to run in a piece for The Daily Kos, a liberal news website
She also condemned Chaffetz.
“Jason Chaffetz has been a poor public servant who has shown a lack of stewardship of the 3rd Congressional District of Utah. He has failed to listen carefully and consider the needs of his constituents,” she wrote.
Allen told Mic she still has a long road to wend if she wants to beat Chaffetz in a political run.
“I’ve got my work cut out for me,” she said.