Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday said he will not run for reelection in 2018.
Chaffetz told KSL Newsradio by text Thursday that he's weighing his options and "might depart early".
In his role as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Chaffetz has been walking a tight line between party loyalty and support for the president and a district that's heavily conservative but lukewarm on President Donald Trump, Cann said. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins.
Still, in his statement, Chaffetz maintained that it was not this possibility of losing that has made him give up his seat - but then again, would he say anything different?
"I take him at his word that he's exhausted, that it's time to take a look at his own life and 1,500 days on that cot has taken its toll". Rumors he may run for the governor of his native state in 2020 are still circulating.
Trump, however, severely under-performed, winning just 47% in the district.
Rep. Chaffetz's announcement follows two close elections in Kansas and Georgia. Recently, he's faced criticism for refusing to investigate ties between former Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russian Federation. Since his flip-flop on Trump, Chaffetz has been booed and heckled at town hall meetings.
Republicans have a deep bench of talented candidates in Utah who are more than up to this challenge.
Chaffetz' announcement shakes up the state's political landscape.
The 50-year-old powerful figure on Capitol Hill, said he was returning to the private sector after more than 13 years as an elected official. Democrats clearly have the momentum firmly on their side. Even senior GOP strategists in Utah, who spoke to Heat Street, say they were surprised by the news, finding out Wednesday morning when Chaffetz took to social media.
National Democrats already are interested in the race, helping to fill the campaign coffers of Kathryn Allen, a Cottonwood Heights doctor who attracted the attention of Rosie O'Donnell for criticizing Chaffetz online.
As House Oversight chairman, Chaffetz also was strongly criticized by Democrats for saying he had no intention of investigating possible conflicts of interest between Trump's global business empire and his presidency.