Chaffetz not running for re-election in 2018

Rep. Jason Chaffetz dropped a bombshell early Wednesday morning, announcing he would not run for re-election to Congress, or any office in 2018.

Chaffetz, first elected to Congress in 2008, has served as chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee since 2014.

Chaffetz said his decision not to run was a “personal” one, and if he had decided to run for congress next year, he was confident he would prevail.

In a Facebook post, Chaffetz said:

Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a Member of Congress. I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, “Get in, serve, and get out.” After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. 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. 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.

Chaffetz has already drawn a well-funded Democratic challenger, Kathryn Allen, who raised more than three-times as much as Chaffetz during the first quarter of this year. In fact, Allen has already raised more than double what every single previous Chaffetz opponent has raised, combined. Republican Damian Kidd is also in the race for next year.

Chaffetz’s favorability ratings had dropped from his resounding victory in November. The most recent survey showed 3rd District voters gave Chaffetz a 52% favorable rating, which is a far cry from the 73.5% he won in the 2016 election.

Whoever wins the 3rd Congressional District seat in 2018 will likely be a Republican. The Cook Political Report rates Utah’s 3rd District as the 16th most Republican in Congress out of 435.