On Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz stunned Washington by announcing that he will not be seeking re-election in 2018. By Thursday, he is claiming that he may not even finish his term.
The report comes from KSL News Radio where Chaffetz spoke to host Doug Wright. The Utah Republican said that he may not finish his full term, adding that he is still debating the decision amid uncertainty on when and how his state would establish a process to replace him.
“I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early,” he told the radio host on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the congressman did not immediately return requests for comment. On Wednesday, Chaffetz confirmed that he will neither seek re-election or to run against longtime Utah Senator Orrin Hatch for the Utah Senate seat. He did not, however, rule out running for governor in the open race in 2020.
The only reason given by Chaffetz so far has been a desire to spend more time at home with his family. However, the stunning news has fueled speculation as to the real reason for the fiery chair of one of the most powerful posts in the House of Representatives. It is also puzzling considering the fact that he ran and won his seat just a few months ago.
Among those who are speculated to throw their hat into the ring to replace Chaffetz in 2018 is former presidential candidate Evan McMullin who captured a significant portion of the Utah vote in November in the presidential race.
Chaffetz’s announcement also immediately started the race for his successor in the powerful committee.