Jason Chaffetz, chair of most powerful House committee, says he won't seek reelection

Jason ChaffetzChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesHouse Judiciary Committee member Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) questions Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen during a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill September 21, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chair of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection in 2018.

“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” Chaffetz wrote on Facebook. “Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a Member of Congress.”

“I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career,” he continued. “Many of you have heard me advocate, ‘Get in, serve, and get out.’ After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time. I may run again for public office, but not in 2018.”

Chaffetz’s decision was first reported by BuzzFeed.

Chaffetz rose to national prominence in his role as the chair of the House Oversight Committee. He led intense investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state to President Barack Obama — an investigation that earned him attention and criticism for how he handled it. Chaffetz vowed to continue the investigation after President Donald Trump won last year’s contentious election.

The Utah Republican also came under scrutiny for brushing off numerous pushes from the left to investigate Trump for potential conflicts of interest, saying they were purely political in nature.

Chaffetz represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. A spokesperson from his office did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.

“For those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives,” Chaffetz wrote on Facebook. “I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector.”

“I am grateful for all of you in the current and previous 3rd Congressional District,” he added. “I acknowledge the outstanding work of my dedicated staff. Together we have been a strong advocate for Utahns. By announcing now, I hope to give prospective candidates time to lay the groundwork for a successful run. I have no doubt the 3rd Congressional District will be represented by a Republican. I trust you to find the best person to serve.”

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