Jason Chaffetz not seeking re-election

Rep. Jason Chaffetz will not be running for another term in the House of Representatives. The announcement came Wednesday that he will not be running for re-election, or election to any other office, in 2018. Chaffetz has said he is not closing the door to running again in the future, but for now has decided it is time to return to the private sector. He says he also wishes to spend more time with his family, citing that as another reason to not run.

His announcement potentially ends any further speculation as to whether or not he will make a bid to replace Utah's Sr. Senator, Orrin Hatch, who is up for re-election in 2018. Hatch has served in congress since 1976, and has been on the record as saying he plans to run, but may not if something that would otherwise would prevent him from doing so occurred. So far no Republican has stepped forward to officially run for the soon to be vacant congressional seat, although many speculate that Provo Mayor John Curtis could make a legitimate bid for the chair.

The announcement came as a stunning surprise for those in Utah's congressional delegation, as well as Gov. Gary Herbert, who went on to praise Chaffetz's efforts in the House on behalf of Utah. Chaffetz was first elected in 2008, and has prided himself on the fact he's slept on a cot in his office the entire time he's served in congress.

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