Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) announced Wednesday that he will resign from Congress, citing his wife’s health issues.
“It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve the good people of Utah in Congress,” Stewart said in a statement. “My wife and I have made so many dear friends and memories throughout our journey. I can say with pride that I have been an effective leader for my beloved home state, and I’m honored to have played an important role in guiding our nation through some troubled times.”
“But my wife’s health concerns have made it necessary that I retire from Congress after an orderly transition can be ensured,” he added.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday that Stewart — who represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District — was planning to resign due to his wife’s ongoing health issues.
“For more than a decade, Utah’s 2nd district has had a selfless public servant in @RepChrisStewart. I wish him and his wife Evie health and blessings as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter following Stewart’s announcement.
Details on Stewart’s wife’s condition were not immediately available.
Stewart, 62, was first elected to Congress in 2013 and currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Intelligence Committee.
The congressman did not specify when he plans to officially resign. According to Utah law, the governor of the state — who is currently Spencer Cox (R) — will call for a special election to fill the seat within seven days of it becoming vacant.
The special primary and general elections will be held on the same day as this year’s municipal primary and general elections, according to the Tribune, unless the state Legislature chooses to appropriate money to host the election on a different day.
Stewart’s seat is likely to remain in Republican hands: the district broke for former President Trump over President Biden in the 2020 presidential election, according to the Daily Kos, 56.7 percent to 39.5 percent.
Stewart’s resignation, however, will not narrow the Republicans’ already razor-thin majority in the House because Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) is set to leave Congress on June 1 to become president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.
McCarthy on Wednesday expressed confidence that the GOP will hold Stewart’s seat.
“We will continue to hold that seat,” he told Fox News in an interview.
“At this moment right now his spouse needs him, so he’s made that decision,” McCarthy said. “It was not an easy decision for him.”
Stewart reflected on his roughly 10-year tenure in Congress when announcing his resignation.
“My family and I have been very blessed by this experience,” he wrote in his statement. “Thank you to all those who have supported and sacrificed to help us. The fight goes on. God bless all of you, and God bless our nation.”
Updated at 1:21 pm ET.