Corrected 3:19 p.m. | Rep. Chris Stewart, a Republican from Utah, plans to resign from Congress, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
The newspaper report, citing multiple unnamed sources, said Stewart plans to step down as early as this week due to undisclosed health issues experienced by his wife, Evie Stewart. He had been weighing a possible challenge to Sen. Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination next year, the Tribune reported.
Stewart is a retired Air Force pilot who had no previous political experience before winning the seat in 2012. A loyal defender of former President Donald Trump, Stewart is a fiscal conservative and a frequent critic of big government.
In addition to the Appropriations and Intelligence committees, he is a member of the Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Stewart has advocated for a strong military and a foreign policy leadership role for the U.S. One of his signature legislative achievements was the passage of a bill creating a new national mental health and suicide prevention hotline. The federally-mandated 988 crisis number became operative in July of 2022.
Stewart’s office could not be reached for comment.
After an official resignation, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has seven days to schedule primary and election dates. The 2nd District, which Stewart has represented since 2013, is a Republican stronghold and backed Trump by more than 17 percentage points in 2020.
Stewart could become the second member to leave Congress this week. Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, previously announced plans to resign and is leaving June 1 to take a new job as president and CEO of a Providence-based foundation.
This report was corrected to accurately reflect Stewart’s military career.