Rep. Chaffetz will not seek re-election in 2018

Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced he will not seek re-election to the House when his term ends in 2018, news that evidently has McMullin licking his chops, reports the Independent Journal Review (IJR).

As chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz led well-publicized investigations into the Secret Service as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

"After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018", Chaffetz said in a statement posted on Facebook Wednesday morning.

Since he was first elected to Congress in 2008, Chaffetz has become known as media-savvy congressman who made frequent appearances on cable news shows and earned publicity for sleeping on a cot in his office instead of living elsewhere in Washington.

For months, onlookers have wondered why House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has done his best to protect Donald Trump from his Russian collusion scandal.

He has faced pressure from protesters in his home district and federal watchdogs for not pursuing investigations into the Trump administration more forcefully.

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Chaffetz has said in past interviews including one with the Deseret News in January 2016 that he was interested in leaving Capitol Hill to pursue the Utah Governor's mansion. Before last year's election, Chaffetz had vowed he would investigate Clinton "for years" if she won the presidency over Trump.

Yes, but more than 80% of her larger donations came from outside of Utah, too.

Weiler said without Chaffetz running, it would open up the field to some promising Republican candidates and make it harder for Democrats to raise money. Chaffetz repeatedly said, "hold on", and "give me a second", as audience members in a Salt Lake City suburb reacted negatively to almost all of his statements and implored him to "do your job" and investigate Trump. Since his flip-flop on Trump, Chaffetz has been booed and heckled at town hall meetings.

Approximately half of the voters in Chaffetz's 3rd congressional district, which spans from Salt Lake to southeastern Utah, are registered Republicans.

He flip-flopped in his support of Trump, though noted in Wednesday's Facebook post that he had the "full support of Speaker Ryan" to continue chairing the prominent committee and wasn't concerned about a primary challenger in his strongly red district. As some have noted, the Utah Governorship is opening up in 2020, and could be the prize Chaffetz now has his eye on.