Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, shook the political world Wednesday by announcing that he will not seek his re-election to Congress in 2018, 10 years after he first ran for the House.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, rose to prominence on Capitol Hill through his dogged investigations of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton before the 2016 election. "I know the travel back and forth can be quite daunting", Gov. Herbert added, thanking Chaffetz for his service. "After more than 1,500 nights away from home, it is time". Chaffetz told that outlet, and Politico as well, that he was not ruling out a future run for office.
Chaffetz became chairman of the House Oversight Committee in 2014. "That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector".
In Utah, officials have begun running informal scenarios on how and when to hold a special election should Chaffetz resign, but have not been formally notified of the congressman's intentions, Mark Thomas, the state's director of elections, told Reuters.
The Republican statesman from Utah made the announcement which shocked the political realm earlier today. In stepping aside, he said, he hoped to allow any prospective candidates enough time to cement their campaigns.
"I think we'll have a vigorous process by which a replacement will be chosen and we believe that that seat will remain Republican", he said.
It's not terribly complicated then to conclude that Chaffetz decided that the best way for him to get elected governor in three years time is to get the heck out of Washington as soon as possible.
Chaffetz's district, a large swath of Utah southeast of Salt Lake City including Provo, voted 78 percent for Mitt Romney in 2012. "The NRCC is very confident in our ability to keep this seat red in November 2018", Stivers said.
Despite Chaffetz' confidence, he has been plagued by recent gaffes-such as his comment that people who can't afford health insurance should stop buying iPhones-and accusations that he runs his oversight committee in a hyper-partisan way.