Key GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz will not seek re-election
Chaffetz, who used his oversight position to take on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, hails from a staunchly Republican state with little affection for President Donald Trump, who got just 45 percent of the vote in 2016 - far less than Mitt Romney's 73 percent in 2012.
Chaffetz has left the door open to seeking public office again, though in his announcement Wednesday, he said "I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018". I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be reelected by large margins.
Chaffetz' announcement shakes up the state's political landscape.
His likely Democratic challenger next fall is political newcomer and family physician Dr. Kathryn Allen, who had an uphill battle in the red district, has already raised over $560,000 for her campaign, an nearly unprecedented sum for a non-incumbent congressional campaign 18 months away from election day.
Since he was first elected to Congress in 2008, Chaffetz has become known as media-savvy congressman who made frequent appearances on cable news shows and earned publicity for sleeping on a cot in his office instead of living elsewhere in Washington.
"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. Last election, he walloped his Democratic challenger Stephen Tryon by garnering 73 percent of the vote and beat his primary opponent with almost 79 percent.
For the time being, Chaffetz says, he will "return to the private sector". One future possibility is the race for Utah governor in 2020.
Jason Chaffetz is not running for reelection in 2018, opening the field in what has been a strongly Republican district in the state.
So why, then, is the Utah Congressman and House Oversight Committee Chairman contemplating an early exit from office? "I haven't had much time to absorb it". Articles featured include reporting on world news, politics, finance, health, entertainment and technology.
Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzJason Chaffetz exploring private sector jobs: report America's biggest enemy isn't North Korea or Iran - it's Steve Bannon The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Utah) is already plotting his next moves. Sam Johnson of Texas and Lynn Jenkins of Kansas are retiring.