Utah Republican Representative Chris Stewart will announce his resignation from Congress. His wife’s health is cited as the reason for his resignation, but there is limited information on this. Stewart, a former Air Force Pilot, represents Utah’s Second District as a member of Congress since 2013. He is also seated on the House Appropriations Committee, and Intelligence Committee.
This news raises questions about how Stewart’s resignation may impact the power dynamics of the House.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will have less margin for error in whipping up votes. McCarthy, assuming a united Democratic opposition to any legislation, can afford only three Republican votes. A Republican border security bill was threatened by intra-party fights between conservatives who are hard-line and moderates this year. And current GOP disagreements over the debt ceiling show that many Republicans are willing to go against the party line.
According to Utah law, a special election will be called by the governor to replace Stewart.
A special election will be needed to select a successor for the remaining term of Stewart. When Stewart announces his resignation, Gov. Spencer Cox will have seven days to decide the schedule for both primary and special elections. State law dictates that these dates will be identical to this year’s municipal primaries and general elections unless money is appropriated by the Legislature for a different election date.
Utah’s next primary municipal election will be held on August 15, 2023. This may have contributed to the timing of Stewart’s announcement. Stewart’s district has a fairly red color, so it is likely that his replacement will be a Republican.
The Republican candidate has a strong chance of filling the vacancy. Stewart represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. This is a reliably GOP district in western Utah, stretching from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area to St. George. Stewart won re-election in 2022 with a massive 63.4% of the vote.
McCarthy’s ability to cast critical votes will be impacted by the timing of this decision.
The impact of this on Utah’s Senate race in 2024 is also interesting. Stewart was rumored to be eyeing Mitt’s seat. Stewart’s resignation may also be put on hold, given the stated reasons.
Stewart was a reliable conservative during his time in the House. He had a few memorable experiences.
To the dismay and frustration of the left, Republicans created a caucus against socialism to combat the rising tide of socialism.
According to Daily Wire Republican Rep. Chris Stewart from Utah submitted a request for the formation of a caucus to “defeat socialistism once more.”
Stewart stated on his government website that “socialism is a foolishness.” It is doomed wherever it appears, and it destroys lives and freedoms. Since the fall of Iron Curtain, many people have internalized – or never experienced – the ultimate cost of [s]ocialism. “If we forget those dangerous times, socialism’s primitive appeal will spread and infect our institutions.”
There was also this fascinating exchange between Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
Stewart tweeted the following just before this article was published:
I’ve had the honor of representing Utah in the People’s House. God bless America and God bless all of you.