Jason Chaffetz will not be running for office again in 2018. The Republican statesman from Utah made the announcement that shocked the political realm earlier today.
Representative Jason Chaffetz is the chair of the extremely influential House Oversight Committee. He has been an outspoken voice in Congress since he was elected in 2009.
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” Representative Chaffetz wrote on his Facebook page when confirming his decision not to seek re-election.
— CNN (@CNN) April 19, 2017
The popular Congressman was involved in Utah politics for many years before winning the state’s House seat. Rumors he may run for the governor of his native state in 2020 are still circulating. 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. For now, at least, Jason Chaffetz is preparing to enter the private sector when his current term expires, Fox News reports.
“After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. 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. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins,” Chaffetz revealed when explaining why he will soon be leaving the House of Representatives.
The Utah Representative also assured the public he still holds the full support of House Speaker Paul Ryan. Chaffetz will remain as the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Chaffetz won the Utah House seat after defeating fellow Republican Chris Cannon in a primary run-off election.
Jason Chaffetz was one of the primary fixtures during the congressional investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email address and home server usage. The Utah Representative also took a hard line on Secret Service safety lapses during the Obama administration. During heated debate over the security problems within the Secret Service, the agency tasked with protecting the president accessed personal information about Chaffetz and ultimately apologized for the wrongful invasion of privacy.
Throughout his tenure in Congress, he was known as a forceful foe when it came to incidents of government waste and severely lambasted those he felt guilty of such taxpayer abuse when they appeared before him during hearings.
Dr. Kathryn Allen, a Democrat preparing to run for the Utah House seat, has already been attacking Jason Chaffetz and fundraising for her campaign. Allen took issue with Chaffetz’s comments about the need for low-income Americans to make purchasing health care more of a priority than buying the latest iPhone. While the comments were controversial, some applauded his brutal honesty and quickly noted former President Barack Obama making similar remarks when promoting the Affordable Care Act.
Representative Chaffetz said he decided to announce his intention not to run for re-election now to allow fellow Republicans the time necessary to develop the essential groundwork and campaign apparatus necessary to win the race.
Jason Chaffetz married his wife, Julie, in 1991, and they have three children together. The Utah lawmaker earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University and played football at the school.
Chaffetz worked in private industry as a corporate communications specialist before opening his own communications firm prior to entering the world of politics. Jason Chaffetz also worked as both the campaign managers and chief of staff for former Utah Governor John Huntsman from 2003 to 2005, according to the House of Representatives website.
What do you think about Jason Chaffetz deciding not to run for re-election?
[Featured Image by Rick Bowmer/AP Images]