Chaffetz's district shocked by decision not to seek re-election

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, right, joined by the committee's ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., questions FBI Director James Comey, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2016, as he was called before the committee to explain the agency's recommendation to not prosecute Hillary Clinton over her private email setup during her time as secretary of state. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(KUTV) There were a lot of shocked reactions coming from Utah's 3rd Congressional District after Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced that he's not running for re-election.

Voters from Cottonwood Heights, Draper, and Provo spoke about his decision.

"I'm very surprised," said Carol Gordon while sipping coffee at Beans & Brews in Cottonwood Heights. "But, pleased because I think it might open the door for his challenger and it would be nice to have a changing of the guard. He's done as much as he can do."

At a nearby table sat a group of high school students who will be voting in 2018. Several of them said they attended Chaffetz' heated town hall meeting in town and were not planning to vote for him in 2018.

"I'm glad that he's going to be out of the picture," said 17-year-old Isaac Reese. "He's just hurting my future and I won't support someone who is hurting my future."

At a park in Draper, many of the moms hanging out with their kids, said they don't really care either way. But one grandmother said she believes Chaffetz is getting the job done.

"I thought he was a very good man and I thought he was doing a very good job," she said.

Utah's 3rd Congressional District covers parts of eastern Utah extending from Salt Lake County, through parts of Utah county to the Arizona boarder.

Chaffetz swept every election over the years in office, but many said they believe his time is up.

"I think he saw the writing on the wall and thought it was a good time to get out," said Dayna Huges on the streets of Provo.

"I'm just glad he's going to open it up and let someone else have a shot at it," said LuAnn Campbell in Provo.

Provo had a mixture of supporters, and those who are happy he's stepping down.

"I was happy to hear that news," Mary Hasler said. The reason she feels that way? "His lack of energy of looking into anything that he should be looking into about Trump."

But Jonathan Rivera and Kyle Stenson, on a lunch break in Provo, said they believe Chaffetz had done a good job fighting for Utah in Washington.

"Overall I really like the guy," said Rivera. "He's on the attack in regards with personal issues in Washington that I personally feel we do need to clean up."

"I love what he's done for the conservative voice," Stenson said. He believes Chaffetz could have furthered his political career by staying where he was at. "Given more time I think he could have advanced his career up [in Washington], because I think he's got the ear of President Trump and I think he could have been supported at the highest level."

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off