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Utah politicians react to Matheson not seeking re-election

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - There's a big shake up in Utah politics. Utah democrat Jim Matheson announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election. Tuesday evening political experts from both sides are reacting to what this means for the Utah’s 4th Congressional District.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - There's a big shake up in Utah politics. Utah democrat Jim Matheson announced Tuesday he will not run for re-election. Tuesday evening political experts from both sides are reacting to what this means for the Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

The next time someone cheers for Jim Matheson it won't be for Utah's 4th Congressional District. Matheson announced Tuesday he's not seeking re-election.

"After what will be 14 years of service in the House, I think it's the right time to move to the next chapter," said Rep. Jim Matheson, (D) Utah.

Matheson will serve the remainder of his term through 2014, but state democrats are already feeling the loss.

"This is tough for the state of Utah and really for the United States. Jim Matheson is exactly the kind of person we need back in Washington," said Jim Dabakis, Utah Democratic Party Chair.

State republicans believe Matheson's decision is giving them new life.

"We certainly tried to defeat Jim several times and haven't been able to. I think this is good news for the Republican Party," said Thomas Wright, Former Utah Republican Party Chair.

This news could be no better than for Republican Mia Love. She lost to Matheson in 2012, and was planning to run against him again. Tuesday she said – “His announcement today does not change my campaign to represent the people of Utah's 4th Congressional District.”

While republicans are making their plans, some believe Matheson may be planning a future campaign for Utah's Governor's Office or make a run at Orin Hatch's soon-to-be-open senate seat, but if you ask Matheson, he’s not ready to say.

"Quite frankly I don't know. I'm going to take the next year to try and figure that out, and I guess time will tell," said Matheson.

Matheson said his last day in office will be the end of the 2014 calendar year.

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