Chaffetz won't seek re-election

Arun Jaitley

"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. Chaffetz says he won't for re-election or any other offi.

House Speaker Paul Ryan tweeted that Chaffetz is "a great defender of liberty and limited government" and wished him the best.

Henderson said she and her family are strongly considering a campaign, and Curtis said Wednesday that he hasn't made any decisions but Chaffetz's announcement "has certainly given me pause for thought about my future". Chaffetz has been the representative of Utah's Third Congressional District since 2009, and he has never failed to win at least 66 percent of the vote since his maiden campaign for the seat.

With Trump in the White House, Chaffetz early this year said he would use his committee chairmanship to continue investigating Clinton.

Representative Chaffetz said he made a decision to announce his intention not to run for re-election now to allow fellow Republicans the time necessary to develop the essential groundwork and campaign apparatus necessary to win the race. Many of you have heard me advocate, "Get in, serve, and get out". The longer you spend in Washington, the worse off you are; for every year there, it becomes that much tougher to get away from the DC stench in the minds (and noses) of Republican voters. So who is Jason Chaffetz, and does this news matter to anyone outside of Utah?

As for potential opponents, well, Utah Democrats are already planning a dance party to send Chaffetz off, so there's that. Romney's son, Josh, has expressed interest in running for the office.

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The Utahn-who easily won re-election in November-has been the subject of recent controversy in his role as the head of the House Oversight Committee during the Trump administration.

Chaffetz, a longtime fixture in Utah politics, has hinted before at potentially running for governor in 2020, and his announcement could be the first step toward that goal. Donald Trump won the district by 24 points but only got 47% of the vote, in part because Evan McMullin ran an independent campaign focused nearly entirely on Utah.

But the pending retirement of the Republican chairman of one of the most influential congressional committees has prompted Democrats to declare victory.

Jason Chaffetz announced, via Facebook, that he will not seek reelection in 2018.

News of Representative Jason Chaffetz's decision not to run for re-election on Wednesday stunned Utah's political establishment - including several would-be contenders for his seat. He was elected last year to a two-year term that started only four months ago.