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I did NOT see this coming.

Chaffetz won't seek re-election, leaves option for 2020 gubernatorial run — Thomas Burr, Matt Canham and Courtney Tanner | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Washington • In a stunning announcement, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Wednesday he would not seek re-election to his House seat or pursue any political office next year, but he left open the option to run for governor in 2020. ..."

But it adds up. With the new occupant in the White House sucking all the political air out of every room in Washington, and Chaffetz deprived of his dream of spending four to eight years investigating everything Clinton, it seems that, for the Captain Ahab of Utah County, the thrill is gone.

With Chaffetz's first move, the 2020 governor's race starts now — Robert Gehrke | The Salt Lake Tribune

" ... Chaffetz could use his spot as chairman of the House Oversight Committee to go after the unpopular Trump administration, and wreck his relationships with the White House and his congressional colleagues, not to mention Trump loyalists in Utah.

"Or he could play lapdog, defend the administration and destroy his credibility and open himself up to the kind of 'Do your job' lambasting he received at his recent town hall, then try to run for governor as the Washington insider who climbed into bed with an unpopular president.

"Given those options, Chaffetz made the smart move. He shed the Trump baggage and will return to Utah to shore up support for what will probably be a hard-fought Republican primary in 2020. ..."

Jason Chaffetz's Abrupt Exit — McKay Coppins | The Atlantic

" ... Even before Chaffetz announced his abrupt exit, his political luck had suffered a steep decline when Trump was elected. As oversight chairman, he was preparing to spend four years investigating President Hillary Clinton's alleged scandals and misdeeds. Then the Republicans unexpectedly seized control of the White House, leaving Chaffetz with the unenviable task of policing his own party. It was a fraught job to begin with, and his casual attitude toward the Trump family's potential conflicts of interest—demonstrated in his interview with me last month—has only increased the pressure on him.

" 'Aside from Trump and Clinton,' one Utah Republican told me last month, 'nobody's fortunes changed more on presidential election night than Jason Chaffetz.'"

" ... Maybe he's lost all the will to live, now that he doesn't have Hillary Clinton to investigate. Maybe he's in love with her. Maybe he shook her hand at the inauguration and InstaFaced about how his Hillary investigation would continue, because he couldn't bear the thought of living in a world where he doesn't get to read Hillary's emails. :( ..."

" ... Rather than spending the next three years elbow-deep in the daily dramas of Republican Washington and answering for every controversial comment made by Trump, Chaffetz will wash his hands off all of that and spend the next few years building an organization in Utah for a race that is likely to include not only Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox but also Josh Romney, a son of two-time Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. ..."

Jason Chaffetz announces he won't run for office in 2018 — Elise Viebeck | The Washington Post

" ... Chaffetz, who was first elected in 2008 and has considered running for the Senate, is the target of rising criticism over his disinterest in aggressively investigating President Trump. ..."

Why is Jason Chaffetz suddenly retiring from Congress? One word: Ambition. — Amber Phillips | The Fix | The Washington Post

" ... The most likely answer, theorize Republican strategists watching this play out, is that Chaffetz is just bored with his job. His job as chairman of the oversight panel is to investigate the government, and it probably would have been a lot more fun for this tea party-leaning Republican to investigate Hillary Clinton's government than President Trump's. ..."

" ... Giving himself an excuse not to have to figure out how to position himself relative to his party's nominal leader during what could be a hairy 2018-2020 period (and also giving himself freedom to defy party leadership until then because he no longer needs to maintain good standing going forward in the House Republican caucus) might not be the dumbest thing Chaffetz could do right now. In the meantime he can make $$$ rolling logs, prepare to maybe run for governor, and spend ye olde proverbial time with his family—a family which includes a teenage daughter who he cited as his reason for unendorsing Trump in 2016 after the "pussy" tape came out. (He then announced 19 days later that he would, in fact, vote for Trump. A profile in courage.) ..."

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz Will Not Seek Reelection — Eric Levitz | The Daily Intelligencer

"The Republican whose indifference to President Trump's myriad conflicts of interest put the oversight in House Oversight Chair will leave Congress in 2018. On Wednesday morning, Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz announced his decision not to run for reelection, in a Facebook post. ..."

" ... As the Republican chair of the House Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has come under fire for not investigating President Donald Trump's possible conflicts of interests, and pursuing investigations of Hillary Clinton, becoming a target of the anti-Trump movement. Still, we of course don't know the real reasons for his decision — and though it's too early to say if this is a trend, it could be a harbinger of Republican worry about running for reelection in the era of Trump. ..."

Jason Chaffetz, Powerful House Republican, Won't Run in 2018 — Emmarie Huettemen and Matt Flegenheimer | The New York Times

" ... But with Mr. Trump's surprise victory in November, Mr. Chaffetz found himself in an uncomfortable position: a watchdog who often sounded disinclined to watch over a fellow Republican. ..."

" ... Since President Trump took office, Chaffetz, who flip-flopped on the endorsement of the President retracting it after the "Access Hollywood" tape but subsequently announcing he would vote for him, has faced angry constituents at town halls in his district. ..."

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