(KUTV) Congressman Jason Chaffetz told 2News Thursday he hasn't "ruled out the possibility of leaving early."
His statement, in full, is as follows:
My future plans are not yet finalized, but I haven’t ruled out the possibility of leaving early. In the meantime, I still have a job to do, and I have no plans to take my foot off the gas.
The representative of Utah's 3rd congressional district and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced April 19 he would not seek re-election in 2018.
Chaffetz, 50, said after "long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration," he will "return to the private sector." He said the decision had nothing to do with his health or fear of losing re-election.
"After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time," Chaffetz wrote in the post. "I may run again for public office, but not in 2018."
Since the announcement, multiple politicians around the state have said, or at least hinted, that they would run to take his historically red seat.
Contenders, which you can read about here, include:
- Damian Kidd (R), Attorney
- John Curtis (R), Provo Mayor
- Deidre Henderson (R), State Senator for Utah's 7th District
- Greg Hughes (R), State Senator for Utah's 51st District and Speaker of the House
- Evan McMullin (I), Investment banker and former presidential candidate
- Thomas Wright (R), Real estate agent and former chairman of Utah GOP
- Dr. Kathryn Allen (D), Doctor
- Ben Frank (D), Volunteer
Chaffetz, a Republican, was first elected in 2008. He has served as chairman of the Oversight Committee since 2015.
See a list of reactions, both positive and negative, to Chaffetz' announcement here.