Chaffetz avoids re-election, eyes Utah governor race

On Wednesday, Chaffetz made a surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election to the House seat he's held since 2008 or for any other office in 2018, but said a bid for governor in 2020 he's talked about before was still a "maybe".

Jason Chaffetz announced, via Facebook, that he will not seek reelection 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.

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", Chaffetz said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. "I've been away from my family for more than 1,500 nights, and it's as simple as a fact that I love my wife and I adore my kids and you just gotta reevaluate your life when you're sleeping on a cot in your office", he said. Curtis said Wednesday that he hasn't made any decisions but Chaffetz's announcement has "given me pause for thought about my future".

There had previously been speculation that Chaffetz might run for Senate or governor of Utah.

"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". Recently, he's faced criticism for refusing to investigate ties between former Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russian Federation.

If Jason Chaffetz keeps his word and does not run, Allen's fundraising is likely to diminish, and Republicans would again be strong favorites in the Third District.

"I would expect that lots of people get into that race, where a Republican would be heavily favored to win the general election, and the primary gets a lot of attention and money", Pope said.

The 50-year-old powerful figure on Capitol Hill, said he was returning to the private sector after more than 13 years as an elected official. President Donald Trump won the district in 2016 with 47 percent of the vote.

Chaffetz's decision was first reported by BuzzFeed.

Chaffetz' statement says he isn't ruling out running for elective office in the future, and Republicans believe that this move may be created to help him lay the groundwork for a statewide run soon.

Evans predicted a number of Republicans will line up to try to replace Chaffetz, including Provo Mayor John Curtis, former state GOP chair Thomas Wright, Utah's House Speaker Greg Hughes and state Sen.

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