House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz will not seek re-election in 2018.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Chaffetz said that he reached this decision after consulting with his family.
“After long consultation with my family and prayerful consideration, I have decided I will not be a candidate for any office in 2018,” Chaffetz said on Facebook.
There is now speculation that Chaffetz may run for governor of Utah; the state holds its gubernatorial election in 2020. However, Chaffetz insists in his statement that he is returning to the private sector.
Chaffetz has been married for several decades to his wife, Julie Chaffetz. Here’s what we know about her.
1. She Works for a Plastic Surgeon Helping Women With Breast Cancer
According to The Blaze, Julie Chaffetz currently works in plastic surgery, helping women who need to have their breasts removed for medical reasons.
“My wife spends her day helping these women. I’m proud of her for doing that,” Chaffetz said during a House Oversight Committee meeting on Planned Parenthood in September 2015. “My mother, she passed away when I was 28 years old. She fought cancer for more than 10 years. She had breast cancer and I miss her.”
Julie Chaffetz works as a patient liaison, and she offers support and consulting for these women with breast cancer.
“I get to meet and interact with women who are going through a really difficult time in their lives, and I am just amazed and strengthened and inspired by what they do,” Julie Chaffetz said in an interview with Studio 5.
Julie Chaffetz also explained that this is personal for her because of the death of her mother-in-law.
2. She Met Jason at Brigham Young University
Jason and Julie were introduced while they were both students at Brigham Young University.
Specifically, they met at a wedding and started dating when Jason was a senior and Julie was a junior, according to CNN.
Julie, however, says that they didn’t hit it off immediately.
“The first time we met, it didn’t go so well,” she said in an interview with Studio 5. “It took about a year later, and then we went on our first date, and it was amazing.”
When asked to expand upon how this first meeting didn’t go well, Julie said that it just made no impression on her and that she barely even remembers it.
“Well, I don’t remember the first time I met him, so I guess it didn’t go so well,” she said. “He claims…he asked me out, but I don’t really remember.”
On their first date, Jason took Julie to go see the evening news taped, and they got frozen yogurt afterwards, she says.
3. She & Jason Were Married in 1991
Jason and Julie were married in February 1991. This wedding took place two years after they started dating.
The wedding was held at the Mesa Arizona Temple. Two months ago, Jason and Julie celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary, and Jason said in an Instagram post that this was the happiest day of his life.
Julie Chaffetz herself was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, where the wedding took place. Jason, on the other hand, was born in Los Gatos, California.
4. She & Jason Live in Alpine, Utah
Julie Chaffetz spends most of her time in Alpine, Utah, where the Chaffetz family lives. She says that she’s there for the majority of the year, only joining her husband in Washington, D.C. every few months.
“I’m a firm believer that I need to be here with my kids, and that’s very important, but I also need to nurture my relationship with my husband,” Julie said in an interview with Studio 5.
Julie Chaffetz expanded on this in an interview with CNN, saying that when Jason is in D.C., she tries to spend time doing things she needs to do for herself.
“During our campaign I received some sage advice from Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake’s wife, Cheryl,” Julie Chaffetz told CNN. “She recommended that when Jason is in Washington, I spend time doing the things I need to do on my own, such as errands, volunteering, time with friends, helping with homework, and home projects like learning how to repair a toilet — and yes, I mastered this skill! So, when Jason is home, we can use our time as a family working, reconnecting and having fun.”
Julie added that she and Jason frequently have company at the house, so much so that their home is known as “Hotel Chaffetz.” Julie also enjoys playing music in her free time and reading for a book club that she is a part of.
5. She & Jason Have Three Kids
Jason and Julie Chaffetz have three children: Kate, Max, and Ellis.
Their oldest child, Max, was married in 2016.
Although Julie and Jason’s children are now older, Julie talked when they were young about how raising kids is her most important job.
“Raising three children to be healthy, happy contributors to society is my quest,” she told CNN in 2009. “Nurturing our 8, 13 and 16-year-olds is a lesson in constant motion — or rather, commotion. It’s important to me that they feel centered and cared for. Although I’m not a perfect mother, I’ve got great kids who reward me with hugs, smiles, occasional pouts and late-night chats.”
When a tape was released in October 2016 on which Donald Trump brags about groping women, Jason Chaffetz withdrew his endorsement of the Republican nominee, saying that he could not look his daughter in the eye and tell her that he supports someone like Trump.
“I’m out,” Jason Chaffetz said. “I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine, and my wife and I have a 15 year old daughter, and if I can’t look her in the eye and tell her these things, I can’t endorse this person.”
However, by the end of the month, Chaffetz said he would in fact be voting for Donald Trump for president, saying that Trump is at least better than Hillary Clinton.