Representative Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, announced that he has no plans to seek re-election in 2018.
Chaffetz, now 50, plans to return to the private sector after 13 years of public service. The Utah Republican calls his decision “personal,” reports the NY Times.
An Abrupt Announcement from Chaffetz
No one saw the announcement coming, but Chaffetz is ready to exit politics for good. On a Tweet posted April 19, 2017, Chaffetz states that it has been an honor to serve his people and one that he never took for granted.
However, most know that a chairman of a committee never leaves without reason. So, theories are now circulating as to why Chaffetz announced his resignation.
Many believe Chaffetz is bored of his job on the oversight committee—especially considering his daily job involves investigating the government. After the Trump inauguration, Chaffetz suggested that he wanted to remain a public figure because of Trump’s controversial personality. However, Caffetz had become quieter and quieter on Trump’s actions, especially after the investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia.
Rumors indicate Chaffetz is a runner for Utah governor or the Senate, but he has denied these allegations. In his announcement, Chaffetz notes that he might run again for public office, but not in 2018. Governor Gary Herbert, a Republican, will lose his seat in 2020 — so Chaffetz running for governor is not far-fetched.
Chaffetz tried to squash any theories about ulterior motives. He says that it was after prayer and a discussion with his family that he made his decision. He also stated his confidence that large margins would re-elect him; therefore, a fear of defeat was not his reason for exiting.
Chaffetz has already indicated the House has no interest in investigating Trump because they feel Trump is rich enough without colluding with Russian officials. Also, Chaffetz declined investigations into Michael Flynn’s dismissal.
In 2008, Chaffetz won his seat in the House. Before his election, he was campaign manager for former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. During his tenure in Congress, he bid for Speaker of the House after John Boehner retired in 2015. However, he quickly left the bidding once Paul Ryan stepped in.
Throughout the Presidential Election of 2016, Chaffetz shared his disgust for Trump’s comments. However, Chaffetz has a knack for following where the political winds blow, as seen on numerous occasions. Once it was evident Trump was likely to win, Chaffetz shifted course, stating he would vote for Trump. After the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, Chaffetz went on record saying Trump’s comments were some of the most offense and abhorrent he had ever heard.
Most likely, Chaffetz has ambitions that he is not sharing yet. Indeed, no one blames him if he is bored of his current position. The hints on Facebook regarding his not running in 2018 make many believe he is waiting in line for the 2020 Utah election to commence.