U.S. Representative Chris Stewart intends to step down from his position in Congress. This declaration may be made as soon as Wednesday morning, according to various reliable sources. The Salt Lake Tribune has received confirmation from multiple sources that Stewart revealed his intention to resign due to his wife’s ongoing health problems. The specific nature of her health issues remains unknown.
After being elected for the first time in 2012, Chris Stewart, a representative from Utah, is currently serving his sixth term in Congress. In the 2022 elections, he secured his reelection by a wide margin of over 30 percentage points, defeating Democrat Nick Mitchell.
Stewart’s resignation will make him the second member of Utah’s Congressional delegation to step down during their term within the past six years. Jason Chaffetz, a former representative, relinquished his seat in Congress back in 2017 to pursue a role as a commentator on the Fox News Channel.
It's been one of the great honors of my life to represent Utah in the People's House.— Rep. Chris Stewart (@RepChrisStewart) May 31, 2023
God bless you all, and God bless America. pic.twitter.com/rEeg6G2ry3
To fill the remainder of Stewart’s term, a special election will be necessary. Once Stewart officially announces his resignation, Governor Spencer Cox has a period of seven days to establish the schedule for the primary and special elections. Unless the Legislature allocates funds for a separate election date, the dates for these elections will coincide with this year’s municipal primary and general elections as per the state’s legislation.
Utah’s 2nd congressional district spans across the western and southern borders of the state, dividing the Great Salt Lake and extending southward to St. George. This district encompasses Utah’s southern section of the Interstate 15 corridor and includes prominent landmarks like Zion National Park. Notably, it is the largest district in the state, covering over 40,000 square miles, which surpasses the entire area of Indiana.
If Stewart resigns, it would temporarily diminish the already narrow majority held by the Republican Party in the House of Representatives until a replacement is chosen. Presently, there are 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats in the House. With this balance, Republicans can only afford to lose four votes when voting on legislation that faces opposition from every Democrat. However, Stewart’s impending departure would reduce that number to three.
As a congressman, Stewart serves on both the House Appropriations Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, holding important positions in these roles.
There was widespread speculation that Stewart was preparing to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Senator Mitt Romney. However, with his forthcoming announcement of resignation, along with the addition of an open House seat, it is likely to disrupt the calculations around his potential Senate campaign.