Rep. Jason Chaffetz: I won't challenge Senator Hatch in 2012

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Fellow Republican,

I was elected to office to help change the way we do business in Washington, DC. During my short two-and-a-half years in Congress I’ve been instrumental in that fight, helping to bring about a national conversation focused on how Congress is borrowing, taxing and spending too much.

From the earmark ban and the Pledge to America, to the Fast and Furious investigation and my recent Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation, I’ve been a leader of government reform. In fact, after my central role in writing, introducing and passing the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill (I was the primary sponsor), it’s clear that I don’t need to wait for seniority in order to be effective in the House.

During the last several months, I’ve been exploring a possible challenge to Senator Orrin Hatch. Last week my family and I reached a decision.

When I first ran for office, I argued that I wanted to do what’s right for America and right for Utah. I still do. I have carefully weighed my options, evaluated the pros and cons, and come to a conclusion.

I plan to run again for office in the United States House of Representatives. I’ll continue fighting for fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense. That’s why I was elected. That’s what I’m doing. That’s where my passion is.

Ultimately, I can spend the next 15 months doing my job, or I can spend the next 15 months campaigning to do Senator Hatch’s.

Despite being tempted to compete for the privilege of serving in the U.S. Senate—and being convinced I could win—I won’t allow a fight for that seat to distract me from what I was sent to Washington to do. I was sent here to help clean up the financial mess left by decades of fiscal mismanagement. That is a battle that cannot wait. It’s a battle that must be fought and won in the House and in the Senate.

We live in a critical moment in history. President Obama’s policies have twisted our problems into crises. We’ve got to get our country back on the right course, and time isn’t on our side. I believe I’m in a position to have influence solving our problems. I simply can’t justify setting many of my legislative priorities on the back burner in order to spend more time campaigning.

In order to continue to be the world’s economic and military superpower, we must continue to fight for fiscal discipline, limited government, accountability and a strong national defense.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as one of Utah’s Representatives. It’s an honor and a privilege. My goal is to do what’s right for our country, our state and our party. Let’s work together to elect good Republicans in all four of Utah’s Congressional seats and defeat Jim Matheson in whichever race he decides to run. Thank you for your active participation in our government, as we strive together to be part of the solution.

Faithfully,

Jason Chaffetz Signature

Congressman Jason Chaffetz

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