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Politicians, public react to Chaffetz' announcement that he won't seek re-election

In this Oct. 9, 2015 file photo, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Chaffetz has moved to impeach John Koskinen, the head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), saying he has violated the public trust and obstructed congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(KUTV) Shortly after Representative Jason Chaffetz announced he would not seek re-election in 2018, politicians and constituents began to speak out.

Responses varied between respect, excitement, disappointment and more.

Here's a look:

Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan said he was "thankful" to have served with Chaffetz, who he called a "great defender of liberty and limited government."

Representative Mia Love of Utah's 4th congressional district thanked Chaffetz for serving "with distinction."

At 9:45 a.m. April 19, Dr. Kathryn Allen told 2News she was "shocked" by the announcement. Allen, who raised money to run against Chaffetz after his notorious iPhone comment, said she "thinks there is something going on that we don't know."

As for her campaign, Allen said she is "encouraged" by what she sees in Georgia.

"I think we might be a swing district now and that would be awesome if we got national attention," she said. "I think that most people will view this as an opportunity for a real change in their district, and I think I will get even more support."

Marie Connor, a comedian and freelance writer, referenced that same iPhone comment in her response.

John Fugelsang, an actor and comedian, sarcastically congratulated Chaffetz for "taking his brave 1st step towards coming out as a lobbyist."

The National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers released a statement wishing Chaffetz the best. Stivers went on to say "Republicans have a deep bench of talented candidates in Utah who are more than up to this challenge. The NRCC is very confident in our ability to keep this seat red in November 2018."

The Democratic national Convention released a statement as well, promising to send its Chair, Tom Perez to Utah on April 21. In the statement, DNC Deputy Communications Director Adrienne Watson argued Chaffetz "put Trump's interests over Utahns."

“Chaffetz refused to hold Trump and his family accountable for using the Presidency to pad their bank accounts at the expense of Americans. While Chaffetz and vulnerable Republicans hide from their own constituents and defend an administration under a cloud of a federal investigation, Tom Perez and Sen. Sanders are heading straight to Salt Lake City on Friday to talk and work in solidarity with Utahns fighting back against the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s disastrous presidency.”

Representative Chris Stewart of Utah's 2nd congressional district released a statement saying he was "saddened" to hear Chaffetz would not run in 2018. He called Chaffetz a "a good friend, terrific public servant and a colleague that will be greatly missed in the House of Representatives and in the Utah Delegation."


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