Stewart, a representative of Utah’s second congressional district, which covers a quarter of the state, is resigning following his wife’s health complications. The nature of Stewart’s wife’s health conditions is unclear as the resignation is rather sudden.
— The Calvin Coolidge Project (@TheCalvinCooli1) May 30, 2023
Stewart served in Congress since 2012 for over six terms, making him Utah’s most senior member in the House. He is a US Air Force veteran, a former author, and a businessman.
He currently serves on the House Intelligence Committee, Appropriations Committee, and the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
The Utah congressman has been an outspoken critic of the FBI’s abuse of power for political means.
The GOP’s Tight Hold
Rep. Chris Stewart plans to resign his seat in Congress, possibly as soon as this week.https://t.co/5cJvjg7po7
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) May 30, 2023
With the departure of Stewart from the House, the GOP is down 222 from 221 and additionally loses a much-needed vote.
House Republicans will likely face far greater difficulty with uniting the party behind Speaker Kevin McCarthy to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
McCarthy already faces vigilant opposition from conservatives, most notably the House Freedom Caucus, against his deal with Joe Biden. The GOP’s numbers would be three short of the 218 minimum required to pass legislation.
Stewart was also potentially considering challenging Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney in the primaries, who has been ostracized greatly by conservatives.
The Tribune said this is unlikely, given its a GOP-safe seat, and it’s unclear if the resignation was a prelude to a Senate run.
Within seven days of Stewart’s resignation, Governor Spencer Cox must issue an executive order for a primary and special election to be held on a specified date. Unless money is allocated for a special election, a general election will be held along the lines of other states.