Rep. Chris Stewart announces resignation citing wife's ongoing health issues

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, speaks during an interview at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Jan. 19. Stewart announced his planned resignation from Congress on Wednesday.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, speaks during an interview at the Triad Center in Salt Lake City on Jan. 19. Stewart announced his planned resignation from Congress on Wednesday. (Ryan Sun, Deseret News)

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 5-6 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. Chris Stewart announced Wednesday that he plans to resign from the House of Representatives due to his wife's health concerns, a day after sources confirmed he was planning to step down.

"It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve the good people of Utah in Congress," Stewart said in a statement. "My wife and I have made so many dear friends and memories throughout our journey. 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.

"But my wife's health concerns have made it necessary that I retire from Congress after an orderly transition can be ensured," he said. "My family and I have been very blessed by this experience. Thank you to all those who have supported and sacrificed to help us. The fight goes on. God bless all of you, and God bless our nation."

Stewart didn't specify when he plans to step down, and his office didn't respond to questions regarding the timeline. Once the seat is officially vacant, Gov. Spencer Cox will have seven days to issue a proclamation calling for a special congressional election to replace him.

First elected in 2012, Stewart is currently the most senior member of Utah's House delegation. Stewart represents Utah's 2nd Congressional District, which covers northwestern Salt Lake County and most of southwestern Utah, including St. George and Cedar City.

He serves on the powerful House Intelligence Committee, the Appropriations Committee, and on the Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Prior to being elected, Stewart served as an Air Force pilot and worked as an author and small business owner.

Politicians in Utah and Washington were quick to wish Stewart well and commend his service in the House.

"With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to my esteemed colleague," Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a fellow Republican, posted on Twitter. Lee called Stewart a "true statesman who has consistently demonstrated dedication and integrity while tirelessly fighting for the interests and well-being of his constituents."

"His strong leadership on national security, energy policy, and veteran affairs, no doubt informed by his own honorable military service, has earned him respect and admiration from colleagues on both sides of the aisle," Lee continued.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said Stewart has "dutifully served our state and Utahns" for more than a decade.

"A former Air Force pilot, Chris has consistently worked to safeguard the role Utah plays in our country's national defense," Romney said in a news release. "He has been a terrific partner on advancing Utah priorities — advocating for greater local input in public lands management and legislation to protect the Great Salt Lake. Ann and I are praying for Chris, Evie, and the Stewart family."

The rest of Utah's House delegation praised Stewart for his leadership as the most senior representative.

"We are deeply saddened by the announcement of our dear friend," Reps. John Curtis, Burgess Owens and Blake Moore stated. "Throughout our time in this institution, he has warmly embraced each of us and played a vital role in our collective achievements for the people of Utah. ... Utah is losing a dedicated public servant, and his presence will be greatly missed within these chambers. As he transitions to prioritizing time with Evie, we extend our thoughts and support to him and his entire family."

"For more than a decade, Utah's 2nd district has had a selfless public servant in @RepChrisStewart," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. tweeted. "I wish him and his wife Evie health and blessings as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives."

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox called Stewart "an exceptional American, effective conservative voice and good friend. We're grateful for his considerable leadership and his unwavering commitment to representing our state. We honor his service and wish him and his family all the best."

Stewart is the second Utah congressman to resign in the middle of his term after former Rep. Jason Chaffetz left in 2017 to take a job with Fox News. Chaffetz thanked Stewart for his service in Congress and the Air Force, calling him "one of the best to ever serve."

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes lauded Stewart's bill to create the nationwide 988 suicide and crisis hotline, which he said "will save countless lives in America. This policy triumph will endure as part of his legislative legacy."

"Chris is an officer and gentleman who has sacrificed much to serve during his career in the Armed Services and in public office," Reyes continued. "While we will miss his leadership in D.C., I'm so glad he will have more time now to focus on Evie and his family."

Stewart also received plaudits from state legislative leaders, including Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, and House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville.

"His strong leadership in Congress will be missed," Adams tweeted. "My prayers are with Rep. Stewart, his wife and his family at this time."

Wilson called the congressman a "stalwart example of duty, sacrifice and public service."

"I appreciate his service to our nation and to our state and wish him and his family all the best," the House speaker said.

Correction: An earlier version said Stewart is the most senior member of Utah's congressional delegation. Stewart is the longest-serving House member from Utah, but Sen. Mike Lee was elected before Stewart in 2010.

Related stories

Most recent Utah congressional delegation stories

Related topics

Utah congressional delegationUtahPolitics
Bridger Beal-Cvetko covers Utah politics, Salt Lake County communities and breaking news for He is a graduate of Utah Valley University.


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast