Chaffetz leaves door open to not finish term in House
- Author: Jack Replman Apr 21, 2017,
Apr 21, 2017, 0:15
But as Trump appeared to weather that storm and was competitive with Clinton in the homestretch to the November 8 election, Chaffetz moderated his criticism of the NY real estate developer.
Back in early 2016, Chaffetz told the Deseret News that he was keeping a very close eye on the state's governorship.
"This is a decision to avoid what could have been an embarrassing defeat that would have hurt his prospects in the future", Karpowitz said.
There has also been speculation that Chaffetz might run for governor of Utah. "I may run again for public office, but not in 2018". Most of the ire was about Trump, and Chaffetz said he would not use his post as oversight chairman to go on a "fishing expedition" against the administration.
Democrats championed Chaffetz announcement, saying "Chaffetz' behavior has always been beneath the dignity of the office he holds".
Chaffetz took on the chairmanship of the House Oversight Committee in 2015, following Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). Chaffetz has refused to investigate Trump's conflicts of interest or Russian ties, and when Walter Schaub, the head of the Office of Government Ethics, criticized Trump for refusing to address his conflicts, Chaffetz sent Schaub a letter threatening to investigate him, instead. But Chaffetz has been reluctant do so, despite getting an earful from his constituents during a February town hall meeting.
Dr. Kathryn Allen, a Democrat and first-time candidate, harnessed the anger over Chaffetz's iPhone comments and raised more than half a million dollars for her campaign.
Chaffetz added that he has "no ulterior motives" in making his decision to leave Congress.
James Evans, Chair of the Utah Republican Party, says Utah's race won't be so contested.
With a ready foil in Mrs. Clinton, whose brushes with controversy have sustained many Republican congressional careers, Mr. Chaffetz appeared primed to emerge as a chief tormentor for a new Democratic White House. In that regard, it's worth noting that the domain "JasonforGovernor.com" now points to Chaffetz's Congressional campaign site.
"Otherwise, how do you hold [bureaucrats] accountable to what the voters intended?" she said. "That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector", Chaffetz said in a statement on Facebook.
Hughes and Wright didn't return messages.
Gaffetz announced Sunday that he will be running to be John Boehner successor as House speaker. When asked by The Atlantic's McKay Coppins if he would run for governor, Chaffetz answered: "Definitely, maybe".