McMullin confirmed in a Thursday morning email to the Washington Examiner that he had been weighing a challenge to either Sen. Orrin Hatch or Chaffetz in the 2018 Republican primary, and indicated that the congressman’s decision to retire could make a run for the 3rd district appealing.

“I’ve been considering challenging Hatch or Chaffetz, or not running at all in 2018. Obviously, this development today is significant, but there are other important factors. I still haven’t made a decision,” said McMullin. He and Mindy Finn run the group “Stand Up Republic,” which was formed to help gin up conservative opposition to the Trump administration…

Significantly, McMullin won 30 percent of the vote in Utah County, a key population center in the 3rd district. He finished second behind Trump there. That suggests that he could begin a Republican primary with a competitive base of support.