Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz won't run for re-election

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz speaks during a business meeting in February House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz speaks during a business meeting in February
Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 19:48

"I may run again for public office, but not in 2018".

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

"After seeing his district and his state first-hand, I can certainly understand why it is calling him back", Oversight Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said of Chaffetz's decision to not seek re-election in a statement yesterday.

The position of chairman of the House oversight committee is important to conservatives because the panel performs a key function, said Rachel Bovard, director of policy services at The Heritage Foundation and a former Senate aide. "That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector", Chaffetz said in his post.

Chaffetz, a conservative Republican who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, gained prominence as head of the committee that investigated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was USA secretary of state.

Jason Chaffetz said on Wednesday that he's not running for re-election in 2018.

"I think it will now be a fascinating race with likely a variety of candidates, so I certainly think this is big news for the 3rd District in Utah and means a very exciting race".

Chaffetz reportedly made the announcement via text message to a Salt Lake City radio show host a day after making an appearance, but has since confirmed this update to several outlets. I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff.

He has faced pressure from protesters in his home district and federal watchdogs for not pursuing investigations into the Trump administration more forcefully. "Together we have been a strong advocate for Utahns", he wrote on Facebook. "I'll leave it to Jason to pick whatever time of his choosing to announce what he'll be doing". Republicans won't admit this publicly, but they are growing increasingly more fearful of losing the House in 2018. Chaffetz has served in his current seat since 2008.

It's not terribly complicated then to conclude that Chaffetz decided that the best way for him to get elected governor in three years time is to get the heck out of Washington as soon as possible.

Buzzfeed first reported the news. Utah Republican candidates are chosen by state delegates, not through a traditional primary vote.