Surprise farewell: Chaffetz won’t run for reelection

Chaffetz with military vet 2016

Chaffetz with US military veteran on Veteran’s Day, 2016. [Photo: Jason Chaffetz public Facebook page]

Amid fanfare over Democrats facing a runoff election for Georgia congressional district 6, news of a surprise farewell is just beginning to draw attention.

House Oversight committee chair Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) won’t run for reelection in 2018. Chaffetz also sat on the powerful Judiciary committee.

Naturally, many are wondering what led to Chaffetz’s decision. Presumably he’d have been a shoo-in for reelection.

A little known bit of info about Chaffetz is that he once was a Democrat who became a Republican via President Ronald Reagan.

Chaffetz posted a message on his Facebook page to explain his decision, assuring supporters he had no “ulterior motives” and is in good health:

“Thank you!

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in the United States House of Representatives. Serving is an honor and a privilege that I have never taken for granted.

After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018.

Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a Member of Congress. I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, “Get in, serve, and get out.” After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. I may run again for public office, but not in 2018.

For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.

I am grateful for all of you in the current and previous 3rd Congressional District. I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff. Together we have been a strong advocate for Utahns.

By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run. I have no doubt the 3rd Congressional District will be represented by a Republican. I trust you to find the best person to serve.

Thank you!
Jason Chaffetz”

The Salt Lake Tribune ran an interesting feature on Chaffetz in 2015. 

Chaffetz’s decision has many on social media offering theories about his departure, with a number of posters predicting he’ll head to the lobbying sector.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/April 19, 2017)

About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
This entry was posted in 2018, Congress, Elections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Sound off!