Rep. Jason Chaffetz will not run for reelection in 2018

"I may run again for public office, but not in 2018", he wrote in a post on Facebook. "It is an honor to serve with Jason on the Oversight Committee, and I wish him and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives".

News of Chaffetz's plans was first reported by BuzzFeed.

For the time being, Chaffetz says, he will "return to the private sector".

Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also drew fire from Democrats after saying he would not investigate Trump's business empire, given that he had promised before the presidential election that he would investigate Clinton "for years" if she was elected. However, his positions appear to align perfectly with the Trump administration; in addition to his tax and Planned Parenthood stances, he's a "religious freedom" proponent and a climate change denier who wants to sell off public land, and has, like the President, called vaccine safety into question. They argued that he was shielding a president of his own party after relentlessly investigating Democrat Hillary Clinton last fall for her email scandal. Some of that criticism bubbled over in recent months, with angry constituents lambasting Chaffetz at a packed town hall over the February recess. Chaffetz entered office in 2009 and his indefinite departure from politics would leave Utah's 3rd District up for grabs.

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A stunning announcement is shaking up the political landscape in Utah. Others formed a super PAC initially focused on ousting Chaffetz.

In Utah, officials have begun running informal scenarios on how and when to hold a special election should Chaffetz resign, but have not been formally notified of the congressman's intentions, Mark Thomas, the state's director of elections, told Reuters. A long-shot Democratic challenger, Kathryn Allen - a physician and political newcomer - has reportedly been out-fundraising Chaffetz, according to the Associated Press.

Chaffetz was re-elected four times in one of the most Republican congressional districts in the country. Utah Republican candidates are chosen by state delegates, not through a traditional primary vote. "The NRCC is very confident in our ability to keep this seat red in November 2018".

During the raucous 2016 presidential campaign that pitted Clinton against Trump, Chaffetz distanced himself from the Republican candidate following the public airing of a video previous year in which Trump made lewd comments about women.

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