Following a hosted town hall that revolved around a lot of yelling, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah announced he won't run for reelection. Instead, Chaffetz will "return to the private sector."
Chaffetz announced his retirement in a Facebook post on April 19, thanking his constituents for allowing him to serve them. "After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018," he wrote. Chaffetz also made it clear that he's not running because he's sick or anything of the sort. Instead, Chaffetz believes that if he did run again, he would be "re-elected by large margins."
He ends the post by telling his constituents the following: "I have no doubt the 3rd Congressional District will be represented by a Republican. I trust you to find the best person to serve." You can read his post, which has more than 4,000 reactions, 1,000 shares, and 2,000 comments ahead.
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Representative in the United States House of Representatives....
Both the internet and former political figures applauded the move, like Richard Painter, the former White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration. Painter tweeted about Chaffetz's retirement and implied that President Donald Trump should do the same.
Good decision Rep. Chaffetz. If you can't do a job right, quit and do something else. And you, Mr. President?https://t.co/2vOjJCBKQZ
- Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) April 19, 2017
However, Chaffetz's move might be because he finally realized that it's not easy being a Republican in Utah right now. During a town hall meeting on Feb. 9, Chaffetz was met with yelling, booing, and chants of "Do your job!" Chaffetz later told CNN's KFile that he thought people were trying to bully him. "They're welcome to come yell and scream," said Chaffetz to KFile. "I thought it was intended to bully and intimidate. But, the last four elections in Utah in a row I've won the widest margin of anybody playing at this level."
Chaffetz is known for stirring up controversy, as he did in early March when he made a comment suggesting that people choose to buy a new iPhone instead of investing in health care. This might not be the end of Chaffetz in politics, however; reports suggest he may run for governor of Utah in 2020.