ALPINE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) In April, Chaffetz turned the political landscape upside down when he announced he won’t seek re-election. He also made it clear he could leave office early.
Thursday he made that official by announcing June 30 would be his last day.
Representative Jason Chaffetz is stepping away from Congress and he’s doing it before his current term is up.
“Once we kind of made that decision we’re not going to run again in 2018 you mentally start to think, you know let’s get on with this. And I’m faced with the idea of two to three hundred nights away through the rest of this term I just didn’t want to do it,” said Rep. Chaffetz.
Chaffetz says he promised to get in, serve and get out and that he never intended to make a career out of it.
He says while he’d like to see some of the Oversight Committee investigation through he’s proud of his record.
“We fought hard on the four principles I talked about. Fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense,” said Chaffetz.
Boyd Matheson is the president of the Sutherland Institute and former chief of staff to Senator Mike Lee. He says the departure will be a hit to Utah in the short term.
“Congressman Chaffetz did do some amazing things for the state, represented the state very, very well. Not only as a representative, but was also on powerful committees, was the head of the Oversight Committee and accomplished some important things,” said Matheson.
Matheson says no one is indispensable in Washington and he’s confident whoever takes the spot will jump right in. He likes that Chaffetz isn’t making Congress a career.
“I think that’s the right model for Utah, and we saw that. Jake Garn stepped away, Bob Bennett stepped up, and became very powerful and very prominent. Bob Bennett was defeated by Senator Mike Lee, and Mike Lee has done the same thing.”
When it comes to what’s next Chaffetz will only say he’s talking with a lot of organizations about opportunities but sources say he will likely end up with the Fox News Network and will consider a run for governor in 2020.