SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Thursday, Representative Stephen Christiansen, R-West Jordan, stepped down from his post. He says part of his decision to resign was allegedly due to attacks on his family. It’s a growing concern as elections are just four days away.
Protest against mask mandates, vaccines, mail-in ballots, attacks on health officials at their homes, and public officials’ significant have seen increased visibility.
“I understand being in politics it’s a rough and tumble contact sport. I understand that, but families especially should be off-limits,” says Governor Spencer Cox.
Former Rep. Christiansen is the latest to claim his family became victim to this ugly bitterness. Christiansen has recently been quite vocal in his criticism of Utah’s vote by mail system
In his resignation letter, Rep. Christiansen said, “While I expected, unfortunately, to be personally maligned and ridiculed as a public servant, I did not expect to see individuals attack my wife as they have, nor to see the significance of the impact of those attacks on her and our family. Primarily for that reason, it has become necessary to ‘pause.’
Friday, the Governor called on Utahns to remember the Utah way.
“Our message is just this, no matter what your politics is, no matter what you believe in, we are Utahns first,” he says.
The Utah Department of Public Safety is investigating threats against several elected officials and public figures because of the heated atmosphere.
“Look it’s ok to be passionate, it’s ok to have strongly held views and we should, that is what our country is all about. Our country is also about civility. Working together, finding common ground,” says Gov. Cox. Let’s keep our disagreements in the political realm, and let’s treat each other with dignity and respect outside of that.”
Even the Utah Democratic Party is weighing in saying they “unequivocally condemn attacks on the families of elected officials.”
The former West Jordan Representative’s case remains under investigation at this hour.