Chaffetz Texts Utah Radio Host 'I Might Depart Early' From Congressional Seat


Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has announced that he will not seek re-election for his seat in 2018.

A House member since 2009, Chaffetz said in a Facebook posting, "I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career".

According to Wright, Chaffetz wrote, "Thanks for having me on yesterday, I appreciate it". "After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time".

The Utah Republican said previous year he was not interested in running for the Senate.

A Chaffetz spokeswoman didn't immediately return a request for comment.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz's decision not to seek another term in Congress and possibly resign sets the GOP congressman up for a 2020 run for governor without a damaging re-election campaign or pressure to doggedly investigate his party's president.

Still, Chaffetz has run into political turbulence.

'That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector, ' he added.

"It's still somewhat surprising to me", Karpowitz said.

Utah radio host Doug Wright announced to listeners Thursday morning that he and Chaffetz exchanged messages about whether he would serve out his term.

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Jason Chaffetz waits for the beginning of a hearing before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee July 7, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. But he said he's still debating the decision amid uncertainty over how Utah would establish a process to replace him early.

As for who could take Hatch's place in the Senate, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney has reportedly become interested in the race.

Chaffetz faced one of the rowdier town halls of the 115th Congress in his district back in February, where protesters criticized the Oversight Committee chairman for continuing his probes of Clinton while not investigating Trump's business ties.

Chaffetz led a almost two-year investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, continuing the inquiry even after the 2016 election.

Attorney Damian Kidd, a Republican who had already stepped in to challenge Chaffetz, said hopes the congressman's exit will free up fundraising money.

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Another potential challenger is Trump-critic Evan McMullin, a Mormon and former Central Intelligence Agency agent who mounted an independent run for president a year ago. In January, Chaffetz told the Deseret News he "would take a serious, serious look at running for governor". Sam Johnson of Texas and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas are retiring.