Chaffetz said in his statement, "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."
This came as a surprise to me since Chaffetz has been holding town hall meetings outside of his district and has been criticizing Orrin Hatch's record in the Senate.
Jason Chaffetz is a rising star in the House and Orrin Hatch has assembled an intimidating campaign force. These may have been two of the factors in the decision announced today.
Chaffetz' announcement closes the door on those hoping to take his place in the House, but it also opens the door to others who may want to challenge Senator Hatch. State Senator Dan Liljenquist has been considering a run for U.S. Senate for a little while now, so we could be hearing an announcement from him soon.