House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz announced Wednesday that he will not seek political office in 2018, a decision that comes amid rising speculation that he will run for governor of Utah in 2020.
"I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career", he wrote.
In his public farewell on Facebook, Chaffetz did not close the door entirely on the possibility of another foray into politics: "After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time".
"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", Herbert said in the statement.
After Chaffetz made his announcement, a source close to McMullin told Independent Journal Review that McMullin is "considering running in 2018" but still hasn't made a decision on how he will proceed.
Since the announcement, Chaffetz has grandstanded like he's exhausted of public servantship, amid rumors he might run for Utah governor in 2020.
"I am grateful for all of you in the current and previous 3rd Congressional District", he added.
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Chaffetz's district, a large swath of Utah southeast of Salt Lake City including Provo, voted 78 percent for Mitt Romney in 2012. I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff.
In an interview with Fox News on Wednesday, Chaffetz reiterated that he wants to spend more time with his family.
Utah's 3rd District has always been reliable for Republicans: Chaffetz was elected with 66 percent of the vote in 2008; in his subsequent re-elections, he has easily garnered over 70 percent.
"There were unique circumstances with those two particular races, but, with respect to Utah, I don't see that happening here", he said.
Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record.
Republicans have a deep bench of talented candidates in Utah who are more than up to this challenge. "Clearly, Chaffetz crumbled under the weight of the widespread backlash that he's been facing for refusing to do his job, which is a victory for all Americans and will serve as a motivating force for the grassroots".