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


Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in 2016. Chaffetz said on his Facebook page that he had consulted with his family and decided that he would not be a candidate for any office in 2018 and would return to the private sector when his term ends in January of 2019.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted that Chaffetz is "a great defender of liberty and limited government" and wished him the best.

Mr. Chaffetz, 50, a Utah Republican who plainly relished his oversight role more under a Democratic administration, said he was ready to return to the private sector after more than 13 years in public service, calling his decision a "personal" one. After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time.

The intel source comes by way of political pundit Louise Mensch, whose inside sources have a history of being correct about FISA warrants and other matters. But Chaffetz said the idea that Trump may be profiting from his office is "ridiculous".

Additionally, Chaffetz said, "The president is exempt from the conflict of interest laws".

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By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run. We see this as a good thing. FILE - In this February 9, 2017, file photo, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.

"It's the nature of being the committee chairman to conduct oversight of the administration", he said past year, describing his role as a pursuit of facts, not a political agenda.

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"That is absolutely wrong, wrong, wrong".

Buzzfeed first reported the news. "Clearly, Chaffetz crumbled under the weight of the widespread backlash that he's been facing for refusing to do his job, which is a victory for all Americans and will serve as a motivating force for the grassroots".

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The popular Congressman was involved in Utah politics for many years before winning the state's House seat. Chaffetz proudly refused to use campaign funds to feed state delegates, as is traditional in the process of currying favor. When asked by The Atlantic's McKay Coppins if he would run for governor, Chaffetz answered: "Definitely, maybe". The Utah lawmaker earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Brigham Young University and played football at the school. Chaffetz was raised Jewish and had campaigned for Democrat Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign.

Chaffetz added that he has "no ulterior motives" in making his decision to leave Congress.

Jason Chaffetz will not be running for office again in 2018.

Both Harding and Weiler say Chaffetz has a bright political future in Utah if he chooses to - including a possible gubernatorial run in 2020, which Chaffetz said he's open to.

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