What’s Next for Jason Chaffetz?

Utah Republican has opportunities in business, lobbying, TV, or more politics after 2018

A frequent guest on cable news, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has the experience to move into a regular role. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
A frequent guest on cable news, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has the experience to move into a regular role. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted April 19, 2017 at 3:25pm

As he prepares to leave Capitol Hill after 2018, Rep. Jason Chaffetz has a number of options open to him in his life after Congress.

The Utah Republican announced Wednesday he wouldn’t run for re-election or for any other political office in 2018 and would instead rejoin the private sector.

In an interview on talk radio station KSL back home in Utah, Chaffetz kept open the possibility of running for governor, saying only “maybe” when asked.

Gov. Gary Herbert has indicated he might not run for re-election, and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee is one of several potential candidates.

Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, who thanked Chaffetz for his service in Congress after his announcement, is considering a run for governor, but he said Wednesday that decision is too far in the future to address now.

Chaffetz would likely also have to compete against Josh Romney, son of former Republican presidential nominee and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Deseret News reported.

A poll from utahpolicy.com found that 25 percent of voters would support Chaffetz for governor, while 24 percent said they would support former Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson. Romney had the support of 16 percent of those polled while 23 percent said they weren’t sure who they would support

Chaffetz, who previously started a public relations firm and worked for a multi-level marketing company, Said he was returning to the private sector, but didn’t give any indication in his interview about what business he would join.

“We’ll see what happens, I’ll just create another LLC and put my shingle out there and see where that takes us,” he said.

Of course, it is possible that Chaffetz could wind up in the D.C. revolving door of former members involved as lobbyists and consulting firms. According to opensecrets.org, the top four industries that donated to Chaffetz were the pharmaceutical and health product industry, miscellaneous manufacturing, electronics, and lobbyists.

As political commentary continues to become a cottage industry on cable news, Chaffetz, a frequent guest on news shows, could get an opportunity like those of former Rep. Jack Kingston and former Sen. Rick Santorum, who joined CNN’s political coverage. Former Rep. Joe Scarborough turned his stint in Congress into a successful morning show on MSNBC.