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Rep. Jason Chaffetz is not running for re-election

20 April, 2017, 13:49 | Author: Mae Harvey
  • House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz R Utah speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Chaffetz says he won't for re-election or any other office in 2018 (AP

Kathryn Allen, a Democrat who recently announced she would run against Chaffetz in the 2018 election, said she was surprised at his decision, but hopes it means a better future for what could be her congressional district.

"I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career", he continued. Many of you have heard me advocate, "Get in, serve, and get out".

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", he said.

Since the announcement, Chaffetz has grandstanded like he's exhausted of public servantship, amid rumors he might run for Utah governor in 2020.

Chaffetz said he announced now so that another candidate could rise in the 3rd Congressional District. As for continuing as oversight chairman, Chaffetz said he has the support of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. In February, he was drowned out by boos at a town hall meeting, where constituents shouted, "Do your job!".

A spokesperson for Chaffetz did not immediately return a request for comment. When asked by reporters if he is considering a run for the Senate instead, Chaffetz indicated he was not leaving the House to go that route.

Chaffetz said he will return to work in the private sector despite saying he is "confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins".

Cox, a resident of the part of Sanpete County that falls in the 4th Congressional District, also declined to commit to a gubernatorial run - a bid Chaffetz hasn't ruled out either.

Chaffetz is only in his second term as chairman of that powerful entity, meaning that reelection would likely have seen him holding the Oversight gavel until 2020.

There has been speculation that McMullin planned to challenge Chaffetz for his seat in 2018.

A recent UtahPolicy.com poll showed a 14-point drop in support since February 2016 for Chaffetz, down to 52 percent, despite easily winning a fifth term previous year with more than 73 percent of the vote.

"The earth shifted just a little bit when he made that announcement", Curtis said, "at least for me". "The signal from the election in Kansas and the election in Georgia last night is that seats that once were nearly sure Republican seats are now up for grabs and really contested, even in Utah".

Chaffetz had previously served as chief of staff to former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

Jason Chaffetz wants to be governor.

The question now is what Chaffetz may do once back in the private sector.

Representative Jason Chaffetz is the chair of the extremely influential House oversight committee.

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