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Chaffetz Mum On His Post-Congress Plans

Julia Ritchey, KUER
Jason Chaffetz and his wife, Julie, discuss his decision to leave Congress at their home on May 18, 2017. Chaffetz says his last day is June 30.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz says he’s ready to start a new chapter of his life, but not yet ready to say what that may be. 

Chaffetz says turning 50 in March was a turning point for him, causing him to reevaluate his life and the amount of time he was spending away from his family. 

It was then, he says, that he finally made the decision to leave Congress and his position as chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 

"I think I'll actually miss the chaos; I kind of thrive in that," he says. "But when you like what you do and you enjoy your job, but you love your family, at some point you have to make a choice."

Chaffetz spoke with reporters about his decision to resign the 3rd Congressional District seat on Thursday at his home in Alpine, ending weeks of speculation. 

The five-term incumbent sat on his couch next to his wife, Julie, and their dog, Ruby, at one point becoming visibly emotional when discussing his tenure.

Chaffetz would not discuss his next career move, which some have speculated might involve cable news or a future run for governor, but says he plans to keep his residence in Utah. 

"I want to still have a voice," he says of whether he will stay involved in politics. "In large part, I'm still putting that together. You can't really finalize things until you actually leave."

Asked whether he had any regrets about his time in Congress, Chaffetz says he would like to have completed more of his investigations, including one of his most controversial. 

"I think the Clinton email investigation is still not complete, and it is of such importance to the nation," he says.

Chaffetz says he’s confident other Republican members of the committee will continue his work. 

He says he will not be making any endorsements in the upcoming special election to replace him, which will take place after he leaves office on June 30. 


Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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