Jason Chaffetz Announces He Will Not Run for Re-election

Alvin Kelly
April 20, 2017

Make no mistake, Chaffetz must resign from his Chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has announced he will not seek re-election to his House seat in 2018.

Chaffetz, 50, said he has no "ulterior motives" for his decision. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. Chaffetz now serves as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, where his actions affect the whole country.

"Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in the United States House of Representatives".

"Serving is an honor and a privilege that I have never taken for granted", Chaffetz said in a Facebook post.

As for potential opponents, well, Utah Democrats are already planning a dance party to send Chaffetz off, so there's that.

Political observers had once speculated that Chaffetz might consider challenging Utah's senior USA senator, Orrin Hatch, when Hatch - who some Republicans see as insufficiently conservative - seeks re-election in 2018.

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He has been the subject of scrutiny in that role, having been criticized for his handling of multiple investigations into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, including into her role in responding to the 2012 Benghazi attack and her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

When he was asked about the 2020 governor's race in an interview with The Atlantic last month, Chaffetz joked he would "definitely maybe" run.

After Chaffetz made his announcement, a source close to McMullin told Independent Journal Review that McMullin is "considering running in 2018" but still hasn't made a decision on how he will proceed. Chaffetz has faced several angry demonstrations in his district since Trump's election, but dismissed them in February as "very, very small minority" that is "not representative of the average person, certainly not in Utah". The 63-year-old family physician and political newcomer was actually motivated to run after attending Chaffetz's now-infamous town hall on the eve of the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff.

"More medically trained people are needed in government".

But despite the criticism and missteps, Chaffetz downplayed suggestions that he is leaving Congress due to political pressure.

Notwithstanding the comments in the article above, Chaffetz represents a solidly Republican district so it's likely that whoever manages to win the Republican nomination to replace him will end up winning the General Election in 2018.

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