Rep. Jason Chaffetz will not seek re-election

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Jason Chaffetz will not be running for office again in 2018. "After more than 1,500 nights away from home, it is time".

In a message on his Facebook page, Chaffetz thanked supporters and announced he will "not be a candidate for any office in 2018".

Chaffetz could certainly run for the governor's mansion from Congress, but maybe he just decided that his name recognition was high enough to do it from the private sector (where in-the-know members of Congress can make millions) than a so-so job.

His declining popularity has led people on both sides of the political spectrum to consider running against Chaffetz in the Third District, which mostly represents rural southeastern Utah but also includes the southern Salt Lake City suburbs and the college towns of Orem and Provo.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., described Chaffetz as "a great defender of liberty and limited government" in a Twitter post. Leaving Washington at the end of 2018 would be seen as a savvy move to spend more time in his home state, though Chaffetz has said simply he is returning to private life when his term expires next year.

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, commended Chaffetz's service and said he was confident Republicans could keep the 3rd District red. He promised, even after the FBI cleared Hillary Clinton on her email usage and even after she lost the election to continue to conduct investigations against her.

"Serving is an honor and a privilege that I have never taken for granted", Chaffetz said in a Facebook post.

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For the time being, Chaffetz says, he will "return to the private sector".

"He has served with distinction during his four terms in the House of Representatives, and has become a good friend and colleague".

Protesters' primary complaint is Chaffetz's unwillingness to aggressively investigate the Trump administration and the potential conflicts of interest that come with Trump's sweeping business empire.

"Chaffetz refused to hold Trump and his family accountable for using the presidency to pad their bank accounts at the expense of Americans", she said in a statement. He said he would not be able to look his teenage daughter in the eye should he vote for Mr. Trump after revelations arose that Mr. Trump had boasted in 2005 of sexually assaulting women.

But he refused to look into contacts that Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had with a Russian official amid suspicions that Moscow played a role in influencing the USA elections. So who is Jason Chaffetz, and does this news matter to anyone outside of Utah? A long-shot Democratic challenger, Kathryn Allen - a physician and political newcomer - has reportedly been out-fundraising Chaffetz, according to the Associated Press.

But with Trump's surprise win, Chaffetz is without a foil.

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