Utah Rep. Chaffetz says he won't run for re-election

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley holds a bilateral meeting with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington DC

On Facebook, Chaffetz argued public service should not be for a full career. I preach that you want to get in, serve and get out.

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", he said in a post on his Facebook page.

Chris Karpowitz, co-director at Brigham Young University's Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy, said Chaffetz's decision to bow out after 2018 is somewhat surprising but eases the path for a governor's race.

Attorney Damian Kidd, a Republican who had already stepped in to challenge Chaffetz, said hopes the congressman's exit will free up fundraising money.

Chaffetz might be taking a break from politics through 2018, but he didn't rule out returning to the scene in the future.

Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzChaffetz decision stuns Washington Chaffetz's campaign arm registers 2028 websites Who will replace Chaffetz on Oversight? Still, we of course don't know the real reasons for his decision - and though it's too early to say if this is a trend, it could be a harbinger of Republican worry about running for reelection in the era of Trump. "Vote him out", the crowd chanted.

According to two senior House GOP aides, top Republican leaders were told that the House Oversight Chairman was considering not running for re-election in 2018, and thinking about returning home to Utah.

Instead, as much as perhaps any member of Congress, his fortunes turned considerably with Mr. Trump's victory.

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During his chairmanship, Chaffetz investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email account and server while conducting State Department business. And he and other Republicans asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Clinton lied to Congress during her 2015 testimony to House Benghazi panel.

When Mr. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, resigned in February amid reports of his contacts with the Russian ambassador, Mr. Chaffetz appeared eager to move on.

Chaffetz also started a media firestorm when he said low-income Americans should have to choose between an iPhone and health care coverage - a statement he later said did not come out "smoothly".

Since his first run for Congress in 2008, Chaffetz consistently won his heavily Republican district by margins of 40 to 50 percent.

The Utah Republican said past year he was not interested in running for the Senate.

Another domain, JasonForGovernor.com, now redirects to his congressional campaign page.

The domains were secured by Chaffetz's campaign arm on April 6.

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