Chaffetz avoids re-election battle, eyes Utah governor race

Published on April 20, 2017 at 10:31AM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s surprising decision not to run for re-election gives the GOP congressman a chance to avoid a potentially damaging re-election campaign and make a future run for governor while clearing the way for a number of ambitious Utah Republicans to try to replace him. Chaffetz said Wednesday that he would not seek another term in 2018 and he’s open to a 2020 run for Utah governor. Chaffetz led persistent investigations of Hillary Clinton before last year’s election but faced increasing criticism for taking a softer approach to President Donald Trump’s business empire and potential ties to Russia. Chaffetz was already facing a surprising challenge from a well-funded Democrat and a formidable field of Utah Republicans has already started shaping up in the heavily Republican congressional district.