Former representative of Utah’s 3rd Congressional District, Jason Chaffetz, announced last week that he would not enter the 2020 election for governor.
Enter: collective sigh of immense gratitude.
Perhaps you think us harsh. But, we’d beg to differ.
After all, it’s hardly been two years since the D.C. politician from Alpine surprised Utahns by stepping down from his very newly re-elected position as a member of Congress (and chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee) on the supposed grounds of needing more time with his family and then quickly monetizing his national political comments to join Fox News Channel’s lineup. In January 2018, Chaffetz said he believed politicians should all of a sudden “get in and get out,” and that he had also met with CNN and NBC before accepting the offer with Fox News to be a contributor, therefore resigning early from office.
All of which cost Utahns quite a bit of money.
A $1.5 million bill to taxpayers, in fact, to run a special election in November 2017.
Approximately 54 cities and towns in the 3rd Congressional District had to run the race on the November ballot, of which half were not holding elections — requiring costs counties ended up asking the state for aid in covering to pay for the cost of printing special ballots and running polling places for the primary and general election that year.
All of this was so Mr. Chaffetz could score a higher paying job of lobbing insults at Democrats’ idiotic and foolish moves (or inappropriate jests at the expense of others, like taking a picture of a Native American statue to mock Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s ridiculous claims).
Like with many jobs in the private sector, it matters how a person leaves a job. Chaffetz’s personal gain was more important than the public service he had just campaigned for and recommitted to Utah voters a few months prior. So, in his own words; you get in, you get out. Now please, stay out.
Utah needs a public servant as governor.
As of Friday, there was just one hat in the ring, and we’re sure there will be plenty more to come. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is running with the support of Gov. Gary Herbert. Cox is someone who many watch with hopeful eyes within the GOP — even moderates and those living in Utah’s rural places — and who also committed to visiting every city in the state to perform a service project. Talk about setting a high bar. (Not to mention, his regular quick wit and quickness to be humble on Twitter ... behavior the nation could actually model after.)
There have also been rumors that Jon Huntsman Jr., current ambassador to Russia, is contemplating another bid for governor. Time will tell if other political well-knowns will join the race.
All we know is, Utah’s seen tremendous growth in recent years. It’s all Gov. Herbert has talked about. That growth has brought great financial success and boosted our economy; our next governor will be expected to continue this — but that comes at a sacrifice of putting one’s own personal interests aside for what’s best for the entire state.