Chaffetz Says He May Not Finish His Current Term In Congress

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After announcing that he would not seek another term in Congress in 2018, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said Thursday that he may not even finish his current term, according to a report.

KSL Newsradio posted on its Facebook page Thursday that Chaffetz had told host Doug Wright, via text message, “I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early.”

“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,” he said separately in a statement to the Deseret News.

In an interview with Politico Thursday afternoon, Chaffetz discussed his plans after leaving the House. “I’d be thrilled to have a television relationship,” he said. “But there’s a number of things I’d like to do.”

The House Oversight Committee chairman’s announcement Wednesday that he would not seek re-election shocked the political world, given Chaffetz’s prominence in Congress and in his home state.

Some have speculated that he will run for the Utah governorship in 2020; Chaffetz himself entertained that possibility in a 2016 interview with the Deseret News.

In his statement Wednesday, the congressman said “I may run again for public office, but not in 2018.”

“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives,” he continued. “I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.”

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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