Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz shocked the political world Wednesday when he announced he would not run for re-election in 2018 – but his latest announcement is a political earthquake.
Speaking to KSL radio in Salt Lake City, the Republican told host Doug Wright that he’s not sure if he’ll finish out his current term in the House.
“I will continue to weigh the options but I might depart early,” Chaffetz said, as relayed by Wright
— KSL Newsradio (@kslnewsradio) April 20, 2017
Chaffetz said on Wednesday he would leave congress after 10 years representing the 3rd District. He told Wright there’s no specific reason he would want to step aside, but that he might want to take advantage of some opportunities in the private sector.
“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,” he said on his Facebook page. “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.”
He wouldn’t rule out a run for governor in 2020, but said he would not be contesting Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s seat in 2018. Hatch has said he plans to run for re-election.