House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, made a surprising announcement Wednesday saying he would not be running for re-election next year. On Facebook, Chaffetz argued public service should not be for a full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, "Get in, serve, and get out". "I may run again for public office, but not in 2018", Chaffetz said, leaving open the possibility of a return to Washington one day.
"I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early", Wright said Chaffetz texted him.
Provo Mayor John Curtis said Wednesday that he would consult with his family and advisors and make a decision at a later date.
Chaffetz, a conservative Republican who was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2008, gained prominence as head of the committee that investigated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was USA secretary of state. Up until February, Chaffetz was still investigating Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. However, in the wake of Donald Trump's election, that tide may have been turning. Fusion says that Chaffetz's campaign committee has registered two domain names that suggest he may plan to run for the White House.
"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", he said.
"I am grateful for all of you in the current and previous 3rd Congressional District". And Mr. Chaffetz had also acquired a primary challenger: Damian W. Kidd, a lawyer and another newcomer who accused the congressman of caring more about himself than his district. "I trust you to find the best person to serve", Chaffetz wrote. In January, Chaffetz told the Deseret News he "would take a serious, serious look at running for governor".
Critics have said Trump's far-flung financial holdings give him the potential for unprecedented conflicts of interest that could be investigated by the Oversight Committee.
Democrats championed Chaffetz announcement, saying "Chaffetz' behavior has always been beneath the dignity of the office he holds".
Chaffetz might be taking a break from politics through 2018, but he didn't rule out returning to the scene in the future.
Dr. Kathryn Allen, a Democrat and first-time candidate, harnessed the anger over Chaffetz's iPhone comments and raised more than half a million dollars for her campaign.