Jason Chaffetz

Chaffetz Formally Sends Resignation Letter
Sets off race in his home district

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, will resign on June 30. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s letter of resignation was read on the floor of the House of Representatives Friday.

Chaffetz’s resignation is effective on June 30 at 10 a.m. He had announced his resignation last month.

United Utah Party Sues to Get on Ballot to Replace Chaffetz
Party is led by Jim Bennett, son of late Sen. Bob Bennett.

Jim Bennett could have appeared on the ballot as unaffiliated, but he said, “I’m not unfailliated and I don’t want to run and pretend that I am.” (United Utah Party)

Jim Bennett, the son of former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, has a new political party, and he wants it on the ballot in the Utah special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Bennett is suing the state of Utah to get on the ballot with United Utah Party next to his name, after state officials ruled in May that there wouldn't be time to verify the 2,600 signatures gathered to create the new party before the election.

Republicans Are 4-0 Defending Seats, but Could Still Be in Trouble
In each of the contested special elections, Democrats performed better than they had in years

Karen Handel gives her victory speech Tuesday night in Georgia after winning the 6th District special election. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Wednesday was a day for Republicans to rest easy. After winning the Georgia and South Carolina special elections Tuesday, the party avoided losing any congressional seats vacated by members who entered President Donald Trump’s administration.

But it’s not all good news for the GOP (or bad news for Democrats). In each of the four races where Republicans were defending seats — Kansas’ 4th, Montana’s at large seat, South Carolina’s 5th and Georgia’s 6th — Democrats did better than they had in any of those districts’ congressional elections since at least 2010.

Gowdy Officially Becomes House Oversight Chairman
South Carolina Republican replaces Jason Chaffetz who leaves Congress this month

Former Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, is being replaced by Rep. Trey Gowdy, right, after the Utah Republican announced he will not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Trey Gowdy officially took hold of the gavel on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday.

The South Carolina Republican replaced previous Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who announced in April he would end his congressional term on June 30 after deciding not to run for re-election.

Gowdy Picked by Steering Committee to Chair Oversight Panel
Full House Republican Conference will vote on Tuesday

Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, was chosen by a select group of GOP House members to be the next chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy was selected by the Republican Steering Committee on Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, in announcing the decision, lauded Gowdy’s “deep commitment to transparency and accountability.” The selection will be ratified by the full GOP conference on Tuesday.

Gowdy or Russell? Steering Committee Set to Pick
House Republican Conference gets its say next week

House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, left, speaks with South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is seeking the gavel that Chaffetz will lay aside when he leaves Congress at the end of the month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Steve Russell of Oklahoma will make their pitch to the Republican Steering Committee Thursday to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The Steering Committee will then vote and relay its recommendation to the full House Republican Conference, which is expected to ratify the choice on Tuesday.

Why Wait Until 2018? There Are 3 Special Elections to Watch This Year
 

Four (Almost) Famous Congressional Candidates
C-list actor, son of a former NBA all-star, brother of a comedian hit the campaign trail

Actor and model Antonio Sabato Jr. is challenging Rep. Julia Brownley in California’s 26th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

The political media went into a frenzy last cycle when “Little House on the Prairie” actress and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Melissa Gilbert decided to run for Congress in Michigan. Even though the Democrat eventually dropped out before she matched up against Republican Rep. Mike Bishop in the general election, it was clear that the media is hungry for any intersection of celebrity and politics.

This cycle, the early going has been meager on the celebrity front, but a handful of contenders have famous connections.

Former State Rep. Joins Crowded Field for Chaffetz’s Seat
Chris Herrod is frequent critic of illegal immigration and ‘political correctness’

Former Utah State Rep.Chris Herrod is the latest challenger to announce his candidacy for the seat of outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. (Chris Herrod via Facebook)

Former state Rep. Chris Herrod on Tuesday joined the crowded field running for outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat.

Herrod framed himself as “not shy about giving my opinion, especially against political correctness” in an interview with KNRS’s Rod Arquette Show, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Trey Gowdy’s Path to Oversight Gavel Gets Smoother
Steering Committee will pick next Oversight chairman after break

Rep. Trey Gowdy wants the chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and after Rep. Jason Chaffetz leaves Congress, he has a good chance to get it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Trey Gowdy’s bid to be the next chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee keeps getting easier as a key potential rival says he won’t run and predicted the South Carolina Republican is likely to wield the gavel, even as the deadline to make a bid draws near.

Any serious bid to challenge Gowdy will need to get under way soon, as Speaker Paul D. Ryan is giving members interested in the post until June 1 to let the House Republican Steering Committee know, according to a Ryan spokeswoman. The Steering Committee is on track to vote on the next chairman the week following the Memorial Day recess.