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Chaffetz considering early departure from Congress

21 April 2017, 08:41 | Darin Griffith

House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Wednesday morning he will not seek re-election to the House when his term ends in 2018.

Henderson said she and her family are strongly considering a campaign, and Curtis said Wednesday that he hasn't made any decisions but Chaffetz's announcement "has certainly given me pause for thought about my future".

According to Wright, Chaffetz wrote, "Thanks for having me on yesterday, I appreciate it". He said that after more than 1,500 nights away from home, "it is time" to step aside.

He said in his announcement Wednesday that he had "no ulterior motives", is healthy and wasn't anxious about his re-election chances.

Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts. A group of neighbors in Capitol Hill paid for an ad against Chaffetz in a Utah newspaper that ran last weekend.

During the raucous 2016 presidential campaign that pitted Clinton against Trump, Chaffetz distanced himself from the Republican candidate following the public airing of a video a year ago in which Trump made lewd comments about women.

Democrats saw the Chaffetz decision more in the prism of a political pendulum that is swinging back against President Trump, and the GOP.

There has been speculation that Chaffetz might run for U.S. Senate, as Utah's Senate election will take place in November 2018.

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

Residents in typically liberal Washington donated money to Damian Kidd, a conservative Republican in Utah who had announced that he would challenge Chaffetz in 2018.

As the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has come under fire for not investigating President Donald Trump's possible conflicts of interests, and pursuing investigations of Hillary Clinton, becoming a target of the anti-Trump movement.

At a February 9 town hall meeting in Cottonwood Heights, Chaffetz was booed by many of his constituents frustrated with his management of the House Oversight Committee.

As for who could take Hatch's place in the Senate, 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney has reportedly become interested in the race. "I expect to be involved and engaged in politics", he said in the interview, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Another potential challenger is Trump-critic Evan McMullin, a Mormon and former Central Intelligence Agency agent who mounted an independent run for president previous year.

"I have no doubt the 3rd Congressional District will be represented by a Republican", Chaffetz said. Sam Johnson of Texas and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas are retiring.



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