- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2006

1:23 p.m.

PROVO, Utah — Rep. Chris Cannon — with considerable help from President Bush — easily turned back a primary assault yesterday aimed almost entirely at his stance on immigration.

For months, the five-term conservative Republican representing the state’s 3rd District has been accused of supporting amnesty for illegal aliens by land developer John Jacob and others outside Utah who support tougher immigration laws.

Mr. Cannon maintains that he supports no such thing. Rather, he said, he wants to secure the border and at the same time allow the 12 million illegal aliens already here to enroll in a guest-worker program.

With nearly all precincts reporting, Mr. Cannon garnered 57 percent of the vote, and Mr. Jacob collected 43 percent.

“John Jacobs claims that I flip-flopped were unsubstantiated,” Mr. Cannon said, explaining his victory. “I pounded and pounded on him to come up with a solution [to the immigration problem]. He just wouldnt give any details.”

Mr. Jacob conceded when it became clear that Mr. Cannon had beaten him by a double-digit margin.

“The people have chosen Chris, so I will support him 100 percent,” said Mr. Jacob, who told supporters last night that he would hold a fundraiser for Mr. Cannons general election campaign.

The race began when Mr. Jacob came from out of nowhere to narrowly beat Mr. Cannon at the Republican convention last month, accusing the incumbent of being soft on immigration. The nomination then went to a primary because neither candidate won 60 percent of the convention vote.

Generally speaking, Mr. Cannon received strong support from fellow House Republicans and President Bush, who recorded a radio commercial for him.

Majority Leader John A. Boehner insisted yesterday that House Republicans have the best approach for immigration reform.

Asked if there was some message to be taken away from the outcome, Mr. Boehner said, “I dont believe so. These are local races.”

Mr. Cannons wide margin of victory was something of a surprise, as the most recent polling by the Salt Lake City Tribune showed Mr. Jacob, a political neophyte, within striking distance of Mr. Cannon.

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