Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Chaffetz avoids re-election battle, eyes Utah governor race

Chaffetz avoids re-election battle, eyes Utah governor race

Jason Chaffetz, an eight-year Republican congressman and the chair of the House Oversight Committee, announced Wednesday that he won't be seeking re-election in 2018.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced Wednesday that he will not run for re-election to his House seat or any other political office in 2018.

He said he had no ulterior motives, and was not leaving office because of health concerns.

Chaffetz has drawn criticism from many on both sides of the aisle while he has served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, based on his handling of investigations into both Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump. Mitt Romney, a Utah resident and Mormon himself, won it with 79% of the vote in 2012. Chaffetz has refused to investigate Trump's conflicts of interest or Russian ties, and when Walter Schaub, the head of the Office of Government Ethics, criticized Trump for refusing to address his conflicts, Chaffetz sent Schaub a letter threatening to investigate him, instead.

"After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time", Chaffetz wrote.

Russian Federation has blackmail material on Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, which is why he will not seek re-election. So who is Jason Chaffetz, and does this news matter to anyone outside of Utah? His critics have argued that he has not been almost as vigilant in conducting oversight of President Trump and the apparent conflicts of interest in the current administration.

In 2015, he launched a bid for House speaker after Rep. John Boehner resigned from Congress. Paul Ryan was eventually elected to the post after a tumultuous process. A group of neighbors in Capitol Hill paid for an ad against Chaffetz in a Utah newspaper that ran last weekend.

A few days after the incident, former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin said in an online "ask me anything" Reddit chat session that he would possibly challenge Chaffetz in 2018.

Since the announcement, Chaffetz has grandstanded like he's exhausted of public servantship, amid rumors he might run for Utah governor in 2020.

Chaffetz's announcement came on the heels of surprisingly strong showings by Democrats in races in Georgia and Kansas and fundraising reports that showed he was being outraised by a Democratic challenger, though it's unlikely the GOP will lose the seat. "He and his family have sacrificed a great deal for our community and state and we thank him", said Craig Frank, Utah County Republican Party chairman.

That Deseret News interview is interesting not just for Chaffetz's open acknowledgment that he'd like to be governor but also because he makes very clear he doesn't have any interest in running for the US Senate.

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