Matheson says the Senate is ‘broken,’ which is why he’s mulling a 2018 run

Boyd Matheson says there’s one big question to answer before he decides whether to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Orrin Hatch.

“One thing a person should decide is what is their vision or agenda that is important enough that will make what you’re about to go through worth it, even if you run and lose?” says Matheson during a podcast interview with

Matheson, president of the Sutherland Institute, has been dancing around a possible candidacy since he acknowledged he was interested in running last week. That news came just after word broke that former White House strategist Steven Bannon was planning on recruiting candidates to take on sitting GOP Senators in 2018 to help break up the logjam in Congress.

Matheson, who has met with Bannon and David Bossie, the head of Citizen’s United, about a possible run, says his candidacy will not depend on whether Bannon gets behind him.

“They’ve encouraged me to look at it for sure,” says Matheson. “I think people will get on board if I get in (the race) around an agenda. The encouragement I’ve gotten about this race have come from both Trump loyalists and “never Trump”ers. I may have tapped into the one thing that unites both of those groups, and it’s their complete frustration with the Senate.”

Matheson, who served as the chief of staff to Sen. Mike Lee, says the status quo in Washington is not conflict between the two parties. Rather, he says, it’s collusion between Republicans and Democrats to remain in power while not tackling problems.

“We’ve become too comfortable with the status quo,” he says. “That’s why we are where we are. That’s why we have $20 trillion in debt and whole host of other problems. I’m tired of the fact that we’ve allowed the people in Washington to convince us that we are too divided to get anything done. As long as we accept that, we give them an excuse.”

Matheson says he has no timeline for making a decision. He also says he’s not worried about who may or may not run for the seat in 2018.

“For me, the decision is not a long, drawn-out process. If I think I can bring value to the agenda, I will make an immediate decision and go. I will not hesitate if Sen. Hatch decides to run again, I won’t wait to see if Mitt Romney is running. This is not going to be a long process.”