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Jason Chaffetz announces retirement from Congress


A key U.S. Republican congressman who said this week he would not seek re-election or run for any other office next year now says he may leave Congress before his term in the House of Representatives runs out in early 2019.

In a surprising and stunning move, the powerful Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, has just announced he will not run for re-election.

Chaffetz said he will return to work in the private sector despite saying he is "confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins".

During the 2016 campaign, Chaffetz made headlines after rescinding his support for Trump following the release of a tape depicting Trump using sexually aggressive language and then providing his endorsement again as the election neared.

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He has faced pressure from protesters in his home district and federal watchdogs for not pursuing investigations into the Trump administration more forcefully.

Allen was already feeling spurred to action by Donald Trump's win: "A lot of my women friends cried when the election happened", she told USA Today. The lack of progress on investigating Trump has led to some voters turning on Jason Chaffetz, with many screaming at him to "do your job" at his town hall meetings.

Chaffetz said he "made a personal decision to return to the private sector" and said he has "no ulterior motives" for walking away from Congress.

Chaffetz is at least the seventh House Republican to resign this year or announce plans to retire, including four who left to join Trump's Cabinet.

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Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin spoke with advisers to evaluate his options in regards to a senate run in Utah, with shot at victory suddenly seeming more likely than before. The powerful chairman of the House Oversight Committee has repeatedly cited turning 50, growing tired of sleeping on his office cot, and his family being back in Utah.

Kathryn Allen has been transformed from a political unknown into a liberal hero for calling out Mr Chaffetz on Twitter, giving her an early boost in name recognition. Does this mean the Third District will stay red in 2018? "I would take a serious, serious look at running for governor", he told the paper.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Chaffetz was re-elected to Congress for a fifth term that ends on January 3, 2019.

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