Popular Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) made waves with his surprise announcement that he would not be seeking to run for re-election in the upcoming midterm elections, with many pundits suggesting that he could be setting his sights toward the Utah gubernatorial race in 2020. However, a new report suggests that Chaffetz has his eye on a very different sort of gig.
Multiple congressional sources have claimed that Chaffetz has been floating the idea of accepting a â€śsubstantial roleâ€ť as an on-air member of the Fox news Channel, the Washingtonian reported. He might even start as early as this summer, a decision that would corroborate rumors that Chaffetz is not planning on finishing his term.
Chaffetz, who emerged as a strident critic of governmental waste as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman, issued an unequivocal statement that he would be retiring from politics completely.
â€śFor those that would speculate otherwise, let me be clear that I have no ulterior motives. 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,â€ť he wrote in a Facebook post.
Perhaps coincidentally, Chaffetz made the announcement on the same day that Fox News revealed that it would be parting ways with longtime anchor Bill Oâ€™Reilly. Neither Chaffetz nor Fox News has yet to address the speculation surrounding a future merging of interests.
Fox News is already home to several former politicians, including former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), so Chaffetzâ€™s move wouldnâ€™t be unprecedented. GOP aides familiar with Chaffetz have noted that he is comfortable in front of the camera and has proven media-savvy during his time in Congress.