Utah candidate blames campaign strife on devil

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A candidate seeking the Republican nomination for a Congressional seat in Utah has blamed the devil for problems with his campaign.

John Jacob, a businessman aiming to oust Republican incumbent Chris Cannon in a party primary this week, told The Salt Lake Tribune that since he had decided to try for Congress, the devil had disrupted his business deals, stopping him investing $1m (£550,000) in the race as he had hoped. "There's another force that wants to keep us from going to Washington DC," he said. "It's the devil."

Mr Jacob asked the paper not to quote him about Satan because he would be marked as "one of those screw-loose people", but the Tribune said he had not gone off the record. The businessman, who has little political experience, backtracked on Friday, saying: "What I was trying to say, and obviously didn't do it very well, is that over the last eight months I've had more adversity in my life than I've had in the last 10 years."

These tribulations included deals gone bad, accusations that he illegally employed a Chilean couple, and statements against him by disloyal friends.