Chaffetz announces he will not seek re-election

Jay Jacobs
April 20, 2017

The congressman behind some of the most controversial moves in recent US politics has made a decision to leave government for the private sector.

The lawmaker, in his statement, said that's why he's announcing his decision to step aside now: "I hope to 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.

"After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018", Chaffetz told his supporters on his Facebook page.

But would he really pass up a chance at the U.S. Senate if Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) in 2012.

In the past, Chaffetz has alluded to an eventual run for governor of Utah, but for now, he'll return to the private sector: "I may run again for public office", he wrote, "but not in 2018".

Running for reelection might have proved more challenging than Chaffetz wished.

And his Democratic opponent in 2018 is raising a bunch of cash.

He arrived in Congress almost a decade ago under rather testy circumstanes, defeating GOP Rep. Chris Cannon in a 2008 primary runoff.

But it's likely not his poll numbers nor possible challengers.

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According to CNN's Manu Raju, Chaffetz's full support from Paul Ryan runs deep.

But he'd be in for a costly fight.

He also hinted he could seek a higher office at some point.

If there's any place in the nation populated by people who are both very conservative and noticeably not thrilled by President Trump, it is Utah. And with the insane first 100 days of his presidency, it's probably not likely he will become much more so over the next few months or a year. His job as chairman of the oversight panel is to investigate the government, and it probably would have been a lot more fun for this tea party-leaning Republican to investigate Hillary Clinton's government than President Trump's.

Chaffetz said then that the GOP's since-failed Obamacare replacement would force low-income Americans to choose between investing in health care or buying "that new iPhone that they just love". In fact, Trump quickly became a liability to Chaffetz and his future political ambitions. And he says he's healthy and there's no looming scandal he is running away from.

In addition to a long record of anti-gay votes and statements, Chaffetz has also frequently been criticized for trying to interfere in the District of Columbia's affairs. For now at least, Jason Chaffetz is preparing to enter the private sector when his current term expires, Fox News reports.

He won past reelections with comfortable margins, representing a strongly Republican district in Utah.

The 50-year-old Chaffetz had strolled to four easy re-elections in his Republican-friendly congressional district.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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