Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman, announced he would not seek re-election in 2018 via a Facebook post.

“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” Chaffetz wrote.

Instead, Chaffetz will “return to the private sector,” however he left open the notion of running for public office again in the future. Chaffetz, who was first elected to the House in 2008, is currently in his second term as chairman of the House’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a position he has held since 2015.

A co-chair of the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus, Chaffetz has supported the dietary industry on numerous occasions, even showing his concerns to FDA. One occasion, In January 2016, Chaffetz questioned why a revised draft guidance on new dietary ingredients (NDI) had not been released.

“We, like many others, were surprised to hear the news that Rep. Chaffetz has chosen to not run for reelection in 2018 or seek any public office next year. We note that he has been a friend and supporter of the dietary supplement industry and has served as co-chair of the Dietary Supplement Caucus. His work and leadership in the Congress has been significant both to the state of Utah and to the country," said Loren Israelsen, President, United Natural Products Alliance.

“Rep. Chaffetz’ decision reminds us how critically important it is for all industry members to be politically active and engaged to strengthen existing and develop new relationships with key members of Congress. Our message, that safe, regulated dietary supplement products promote health and wellbeing and have an important role to play in helping solve the ongoing healthcare crisis in our country, is more important than ever.” added Israelsen.

In the past, Chaffetz has considered running for governor of Utah in 2020, but according to his Facebook post, his decision to not seek re-election has “no ulterior motives.”

“Since late 2003 I have been fully engaged with politics as a campaign manager, a chief of staff, a candidate and as a Member of Congress. I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career. Many of you have heard me advocate, “Get in, serve, and get out.” After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time.

According to the Huffington Post, some of the leading contenders for Chaffetz spot are “former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio).”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 4/24/17