President Stuart Adams previews Wednesday’s special session

Jun 13, 2023, 8:30 PM | Updated: Jun 27, 2023, 3:27 pm

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has called for a special session of the Utah legislature on May 17....

Sen. President Stuart Adams agrees that organizational changes are needed to better address homelessness in Salt Lake City. Adams joined Dave & Dujanovic on June 13, 2023 to preview Wednesday's special session of the Utah legislature. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Wednesday, the Utah legislature will hold a special session to lay out the timeline for the special election to fill the 2nd Congressional District seat that will be vacated by Rep. Chris Stewart.

Rep. Stewart announced last week that his last day in office will be Sept. 15.

As for the special session, Utah Sen. President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, joined Dave & Dujanovic on Tuesday to preview it.

Adams says Stewart has been a real asset to the state.

“And I can’t say enough about Chris Stewart, Congressman Stewart, how he’s represented Utah,” he said. “He’s indicated he needs to resign and he’s resigning for family issues, and I have great respect for that. It’s who he is.”

Adams says the resignation couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“We talked to our election officials,” he said. “And we can’t run separate elections on top of each other. And we’re in the middle of a municipal election cycle.”

As such, Adams says the state would have to wait until November to replace him. He says that it is not an option because it would probably take another six months. Or, the election to replace Stewart would have to be set on top of the municipal elections.

Dates of municipal elections will be change due to special session

So, Wednesday’s special session will change the dates of the municipal elections.

“That’s a little bit of a challenge,” Adams said. “Something that at least for the final election, the general election, we never done in Utah.”

Adams says the primary elections will be held Sept. 5 and the general election will be Nov. 21. 

Additionally, he says the primary election will be pushed back four weeks, and the general election will be bumped back by two weeks.

“And again, part of that is because the election officials need time to count signatures,” Adams said. “Part of it is they need time to do the census or the canvassing to make sure they get the numbers right.”

Additionally, Adams says the state needs to send out ballots 45 days before the election to military members serving overseas.

What about just leaving the seat open?

Debbie Dujanovic asked if there was any consideration to not holding a special session or special election, and just leaving his seat open.

With the filing date moved back to January, Adams says that would just make the situation more complicated. 

Dave Noriega asked if they have had “Any contact with Speaker McCarthy or the Republican National Committee? Did they pressure you, or did they have opinions about how quickly this should happen since this does impact the House?”

“Not directly,” Adams said. “But I heard people want to have him replaced timely.”

He says the Republicans having a slim majority in the House wasn’t the main factor. Adams says to have moved it to next year would have complicated next year’s elections.

“The driving factor was just, it didn’t fit our system,” he said.

Listen to the entire segment.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

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President Stuart Adams previews Wednesday’s special session