Utah Republican Chris Stewart announces resignation from Congress, citing wife’s health

Chris Stewart
FILE – Utah Republican Rep. Chris Stewart speaks before the House Republican Caucus at the Utah State Capitol on Jan. 23, 2018, in Salt Lake City. Stewart will officially announce tomorrow that he’s leaving Congress due to his wife’s illness, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday, May 30, 2023.. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) Rick Bowmer/AP

Utah Republican Chris Stewart announces resignation from Congress, citing wife’s health

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Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) announced he will resign from Congress due to his wife’s health concerns, a decision that will narrow the GOP’s already razor-thin House majority.

“My wife and I have made so many dear friends and memories throughout our journey,” Stewart said in a statement Wednesday. “I can say with pride that I have been an effective leader for my beloved home state, and I’m honored to have played an important role in guiding our nation through some troubled times.”

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https://twitter.com/RepChrisStewart/status/1663939566208679938?s=20

Stewart, who has served in the lower chamber since 2013, did not provide details about his wife Evie’s condition or a date when he plans to step down.

“But my wife’s health concerns have made it necessary that I retire from Congress after an orderly transition can be ensured,” he said.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) praised Stewart, highlighting his military service as an Air Force pilot and career as an author, following his announcement.

“This is the character of who he is. It’s because of his wife and taking care of his wife,” McCarthy said of the congressman on Fox News. “This is a man that … [has] a servant’s heart. And you know what, it’s the decision everybody should make.”

Stewart holds positions on the House Appropriations Committee and House Intelligence Committee. News that he planned to step down was reported by the Salt Lake Tribune.

His seat is generally regarded as safely Republican — Stewart won reelection in November by more than 30 points — and McCarthy expressed confidence the GOP would hold the seat.

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Under Utah law, it’s the governor’s responsibility to call for a special election. A primary must then take place more than 90 days later. The general election occurs at least 90 days after that.

Republicans have a threadbare 222-213 majority in the House. Stewart’s resignation comes amid a scramble to pass a debt limit bill to hike the nation’s borrowing authority before the June 5 deadline to avoid default.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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