Utah Legislature and Gov. Cox set special election schedule to fill Rep. Stewart’s vacancy

SALT LAKE CITY – On June 6, Representative Chris Stewart of Utah’s Second Congressional District officially announced he would be retiring from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective September 15.

The six-term Republican is retiring due to his wife’s illness, and his resignation triggers a special election in the state of Utah as he is stepping down in the middle of a two-year term.

“It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve the good people of Utah in Congress,” Stewart shared in his letter of resignation. “My family and I have been very blessed by this experience. I thank you for your leadership as Governor and dedication to our great state.”

Stewart submitted an irrevocable letter of resignation to Gov. Spencer Cox on June 6, to which the Governor had seven days to formulate a schedule to replace Stewart. By proclamation of the governor, the primary special congressional election has been set for Tuesday, September 5, and the general special congressional election has been set for Tuesday, November 21.

“This timeline will ensure a smooth and efficient transition with minimal disruption to our electoral process. We understand these are unusual circumstances and appreciate the efforts of our municipalities and county clerks in accommodating this election schedule,” Cox said. “Rep. Stewart has represented our state with integrity and dedication, and we’re grateful for the honorable way he’s executed his duties and represented the people of our great state.”

Cox also issued another proclamation, calling a special session of the State Legislature to appropriate money for the elections, change the municipal election dates and address other election-related matters. The special session will be held on Wednesday, June 14.

“Adjusting the election timeline will ensure Utahns have their voices fully represented in our nation’s capital,” said Speaker Brad Wilson. “We cannot afford to go without a quarter of our representation for a prolonged period of time. The proposed schedule will allow for a seamless transition and only a brief period of time without representation. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Congressman Stewart and wish him and his family good health and happiness.”

While Stewart’s resignation temporarily decreases an already small and divided Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Stewart’s district is reliably Republican, and the incumbent Stewart defeated a Democratic challenger by over 30 points in 2022.

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