Chaffetz announces he will not seek re-election again becuse this reson in 2018
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the outspoken Utah Republican and influential chairman of the House oversight committee, announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in 2018.
The conservative lawmaker, who’s been in Congress since 2009, confirmed the decision on Facebook.
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” he wrote.
Chaffetz, a longtime fixture in Utah politics, has hinted before at potentially running for governor in 2020, and his announcement could be the first step toward that goal. He also has faced an early Democratic challenge for the House seat.
In his statement Wednesday, Chaffetz left open the door to another run, but said for now he’s going into the private sector.
“After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. I may run again for public office, but not in 2018,” he said, adding: “For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.”
He told Fox News on Wednesday he will not run for Senate.
Chaffetz arrived in Congress nearly a decade ago under rather testy circumstances, defeating GOP Rep. Chris Cannon in a 2008 primary runoff. Cannon refused to meet with Chaffetz after that.
Chaffetz was more recently a leading figure in Congress’ investigations into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email and server as secretary of state. He hounded the Secret Service over multiple security incidents and scandals during the Obama administration; amid those tensions, the agency even apologized to him after officials wrongly accessed personal information about him. He was a frequent critic of government waste, and showed no hesitation about lambasting alleged culprits who appeared before his committee.
In his role this year, he’s also had to navigate how to address ethical complaints about the current Trump administration. And he faced an emerging challenge in 2018 from Democrat Dr. Kathryn Allen, who has been on a fundraising spree after seizing on controversial comments he made suggesting low-income people should prioritize health care over buying iPhones.
Like many of his colleagues, Chaffetz recently encountered a raucous town hall in his home state. Chaffetz said he’s announcing his decision now “to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run
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