House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said Wednesday he will not run for reelection when his current term concludes at the end of 2018.
According to a statement Chaffetz, a Republican representing Utah's 3rd Congressional District, released on Facebook, he said, "it is time", citing his stance of serving only as long as one needs to. I preach that you want to get in, serve and get out.
"I may run again for public office, but not in 2018", he wrote.
Chaffetz said he "made a personal decision to return to the private sector" and said he has "no ulterior motives" for walking away from Congress.
I'm saddened to learn that Jason Chaffetz won't be seeking re-election in 2018. Chaffetz will remain as the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Russian Federation has blackmail material on Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which is why he will not seek re-election.
We now await any further decisions by Chaffetz, who is only 50 years old and could have years of public service ahead of him.
"I will not defend or endorse @realDonaldTrump, but I am voting for him. He shed the Trump baggage and will return to Utah to shore up support for what will probably be a hard-fought Republican primary in 2020".
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Chaffetz has served as a congressman since 2009, and served as the chairman of the oversight committee since the 2013 legislative session. Many of those donations are reportedly from out-of-state contributors (including Rosie O'Donnell, who has tweeted her support) attempting, however improbably, to flip Chaffetz's historically Republican seat to blue. A few constituents even went so far as to purchase a billboard in Utah County, demanding Chaffetz investigate Trump's alleged conflicts of interest with Russian Federation.
Assuming Republicans keep their House majority in next year's midterm elections, a race to succeed Chaffetz wouldn't start in full force until 2018.
Now that the seat is wide open, it will be interesting to see whether grassroots Democrats in the state will work to assemble a strong campaign to take over the deep red district as they have attempted to do in Kansas and Georgia.
For now, he plans to transition to the private sector, but he isn't closing the door on politics all together.
On the right, conservative independent Evan McMullin, who pulled in 22 percent of the vote in Utah as an independent candidate for president in 2016, suggested in March that he might be interested in challenging Chaffetz.
But despite the criticism and missteps, Chaffetz downplayed suggestions that he is leaving Congress due to political pressure.
Kathryn Allen, a physician and political newcomer running as a Democrat, has already raised almost $400,000 more than Mr. Chaffetz this year, The Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday - most of it from donors outside of Utah.