Chaffetz leaves door open to not finish term in House

On Tuesday, Democrat Jon Ossoff fell a few percentage points short of an outright victory amid an 18-candidate scramble in Georgia's 6th Congressional District .

"I'm saddened to learn that Jason Chaffetz won't be seeking re-election in 2018".

But Friends of Jason Chaffetz registered two web domains more than a week ago, Fusion first reported, citing a search on the WhoIs domain name directory: and

It's possible that Chaffetz doesn't see a place for himself under the Trump administration.

Should Chaffetz have sought to keep the chairmanship, he could have done so for six years, as he told Coppins in a recent interview. "In the meantime, I still have a job to do and have no plans to take my foot off the gas".

Chaffetz, 50, in the past had considered running for a U.S. Senate seat.

"He finds himself in this no-win situation in DC", longtime Salt Lake Tribune political reporter Robert Gehrke told me in an email Wednesday. 'I will continue to weigh the options, but I might depart early'. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, heads to his vehicle after being his fourth interview in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Chaffetz said on his Facebook page that he had consulted with his family and decided that he would not be a candidate for any office in 2018 and would return to the private sector when his term ends in January of 2019.

As chairman the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has drawn attention and criticism for his handling of conflicts of interest investigation into Hillary Clinton and potential investigations into President Donald Trump.

It's unclear whether Democrats will contest this district in 2018.

"For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives", he said. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins.

However, Karpowitz also said Chaffetz has never run a statewide race, and it's not certain Republican voters would choose him as their nominee.

In a statement, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he was stunned about Chaffetz' decision.

Chaffetz might be taking a break from politics through 2018, but he didn't rule out returning to the scene in the future.

Attorney Damian Kidd, a Republican who had already stepped in to challenge Chaffetz, said hopes the congressman's exit will free up fundraising money.

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