Chaffetz may not finish final term in Congress

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz announcement that he won’t run for re-election next year. (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he may not finish his final term in Congress.

Chaffetz told KSL Newsradio by text Thursday that he’s weighing his options and “might depart early.” He says the state of Utah needs to figure out how that would work.

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Chaffetz announced Wednesday that he would not run for re-election next year for a sixth term in Congress. He was elected last year to a two-year term that started only four months ago.

Chaffetz wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Chaffetz has faced mounting criticism in recent months for declining to investigate President Donald Trump and likely would have faced a bruising primary and general election battle in 2018.

He didn’t rule out a run for Utah governor in 2020.

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2:10 a.m.

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Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s surprising decision not to run for re-election next year 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, who breezed through four re-election campaigns, has faced mounting criticism in recent months for declining to investigate President Donald Trump and likely would have faced a bruising primary and general election battle in 2018.

The 50-year-old said in his announcement Wednesday that he has “no ulterior motives,” is healthy and wasn’t worried about his chances. Instead, the five-term congressman said he wants to spend time with his family, return to the private sector and potentially run for Utah governor.