Source: Congressman Chris Stewart will resign, special election dates not known
May 30, 2023, 2:27 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 3:28 pm
(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — KSL NewsRadio has learned that Republican Congressman Chris Stewart is planning to announce his resignation.
The information comes from a high-ranking Republican source close to the Congressman. Rep. Stewart currently represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.
The source added that an announcement from Stewart is “imminent.”
The timing of Stewart’s actual vacancy will make all the difference for voters in the 2nd district filling his seat, which happens by a special election. It’s not known yet if Stewart will announce a date in the future when he plans to officially vacate the seat or make it effective immediately.
According to state law, the Governor has seven days from the vacancy to announce the schedule of the special election.
Getting lots of questions about Utah’s congressional special election process, so I will outline it here:
– Within 7 days of a vacancy or letter of resignation, the Governor issues a proclamation identifying the special primary/general election dates.
— Deidre Henderson (@DeidreHenderson) May 31, 2023
A “vacancy” means either Stewart has left office or submits an “irrevocable letter of resignation” to either the Governor or Speaker of the House.
The Governor then has seven days to announce when the special election happens, with some parameters. State law stipulates it can happen either on the dates of this year’s municipal election, or he can call a special session to appropriate money for it and then the legislature sets the new dates. This year’s municipal Primary Elections are August 15, the General Election is November 7.
There are other requirements too, the special election can’t be within 90 days of calling it. And there has to be 90 days between the Primary and the General elections.
Which means there’s one big caveat; there’s not 90 days between now and the August 15th municipal primary.
Stewart’s resignation will also have big ramifications in the US Congress.
Currently, Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives with 222 members (plus two delegates) while Democrats can count 213 members (and three delegates) among their ranks.
Simone Seikaly contributed