House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he’s chosen to go out while on top by not seeking his House seat again after five terms representing Utah.
“It’s good to go out on top. I’ve won five elections in Utah,” Chaffetz told Fox News after announcing his plans to leave office next year. Chaffetz repeatedly cited his desire to spend more time with his family as his reason for leaving Congress in January 2019.
“I’ve been away from my family for more than 1,500 nights,” Chaffetz added. “You have to reevaluate your life when you’re sleeping on a cot in your office and you just turned 50.”
“I want to re-introduce myself to my family,” said Chaffetz, who is about to become an empty-nester after his kids move out.
The Republican said he’s sticking to his guns on the “get in and get out” philosophy of being a lawmaker.
Despite being on the GOP’s farm team for a White House or Senate job, Chaffetz said he misses the private sector and his life will still “be complete if I’m not a United States senator.” Former 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, also from Utah, would be the best person to run for the Senate in 2018, according to Chaffetz.
The lawmaker does not have official work plans following his return to his home state but owns a corporate communications business.
Some in the Beltway have had a difficult time accepting Chaffetz’s plans to leave. House Speaker Paul Ryan tried to have a discussion with Chaffetz about it on Tuesday, but the chairman said it had already been decided.
Chaffetz has been a critic of President Trump. As chairman of the oversight committee, he was pressured by some conservatives to hold Trump accountable while others urged him to ignore possible problems with the administration.
Chaffetz has said his role as chairman of that committee, which is under pressure to hold Trump accountable, is not a factor in his retirement.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner