Democratic Representative Jim Matheson’s announcement that he will not run for reelection in 2014 came as a surprise to many and set off a stream of speculation that he has his aim set on a higher office. But, when Jim Matheson first ran for and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives he never intended to be a lifer. He says the decision to not run for reelection was based on a personal desire to move on with his life, and not because he was afraid of losing to Republican candidate Mia Love.
“I had polling that showed I was in a very strong position for the next race," he says. "Last time was a tough race with Mitt Romney on the ballot and the coat tails that he created, that was not going to be the case in 2014, at all, and I had utmost confidence that if I ran I was going to be successful.”
For now, Matheson says he’s focused on doing his job and finishing up his term in office. He says his long-term plans are a little less clear.
“Look, I’m going to take some time to figure out what’s a good thing for me to do next and to be a contributor. I have no specific plan right now to run for election in 2016, I really don’t,” he says.
Republican Mia Love is now considered to be the favorite to win the 4th Congressional District seat. But that’s only if she makes it through a tough GOP caucus or primary election.