Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican who chairs the House Oversight Committee, announced Wednesday morning he won't be running for re-election or for any other office in 2018.
Chaffetz said that by leaving the race early, he will give "prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run". As some have noted, the Utah Governorship is opening up in 2020, and could be the prize Chaffetz now has his eye on.
Chaffetz was easily reelected four times in one of the most Republican congressional districts in the country. I have the full support of Speaker (Paul) Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Chaffetz has refused to initiate probes into potential financial conflicts of interest in the Trump White House, as well as into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's cozy ties to Russian Federation. Instead, the five-term congressman said he wants to spend time with his family, return to the private sector and potentially run for Utah governor. If Chaffetz no longer has a political opponent in the White House, maybe he sees no point in remaining on the Oversight Committee.
During his chairmanship, Chaffetz investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email account and server while conducting State Department business. But he insisted he was "confident" he would have easily won reelection, and that he has "no doubt" a Republican will represent the district. Kidd had raised $15,500 in recent months but was left with only $1,600 after spending most of it, according to his most recent fundraising reports.
[L] et me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. "I've always believed that", said Chaffetz, (R) Utah. Donald Trump won the district by 24 points but only got 47% of the vote, in part because Evan McMullin ran an independent campaign focused nearly entirely on Utah.
But with Mr. Trump's surprise victory in November, Mr. Chaffetz found himself in an uncomfortable position: a watchdog who often sounded disinclined to watch over a fellow Republican.
Chaffetz says Washington life is wearing on him.
"He's been toying with this idea after residents have come to him ask him to run and I would be lying to you if I told you he wasn't looking at it", said Corey Norman, a spokesman for the mayor.