WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday he may step down before the end of his term, after announcing Wednesday he will not seek re-election in 2018.
“My future plans are not yet finalized, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility of leaving early. In the meantime, I still have a job to do, and I have no plans to take my foot off the gas,” Chaffetz said in a statement Thursday.
Chaffetz, who represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, announced his decision to not seek re-election Wednesday morning on his Facebook page:
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.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued the following statement following Chaffetz’s announcement.
“I was as stunned as anyone to learn of Congressman Chaffetz’s decision not to seek re-election or any public office in 2018. Congressman Chaffetz has represented Utah in the United States House of Representatives with distinction, and I have appreciated working with him over the last eight years on issues vital to our state. His razor sharp mind, expansive knowledge and gift for communicating will serve him well when he transitions into the private sector. Jeanette and I wish Jason, Julie and their family well in their future endeavors. Undoubtedly, he will appreciate being able to spend more time here in the great state of Utah.”