SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Sen. Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) announced today that she will be resigning on Jan. 16 after her health had taken an “unexpected turn” since her re-election last November.

The former Utah Senate minority leader was elected for another term in office representing District 12 in the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. After beginning her legislative career in 2008, Mayne has since received several accolades in recognition of her services, such as Legislator of the Year Awards from various entities, the Elenor Roosevelt Distinguished Woman of the Year Award and the Lucy Beth Rampton Award for Public Service.

“I am proud and privileged to have been able to create meaningful change in many areas of public policy including worker safety, family support, Utah Women in Trades, and economic opportunity for all people,” Mayne writes in her resignation letter. “I have additional gratitude for the opportunities to mentor and collaborate with the many new faces within the public service sphere. These thoughtful and energetic people have taught me as much as I hope that I have taught them, and I look forward to their positive community-minded efforts, for all of us.”

In January 2022, Mayne revealed that she was diagnosed with cancer while receiving care for a broken shoulder. However, she did not specify the diagnosis as the reason behind her resignation.

Senate President J. Stuart Adams, who accepted Mayne’s resignation letter, said he is lucky to be able to call her a friend, adding that he will miss her wisdom and fortitude in the Senate.

“Sen. Mayne has been a strong force for bipartisan camaraderie, which has strengthened our state,” Adams writes. “Throughout her 15 years in the Legislature, she has passionately advocated for impactful change, including workforce safety, economic opportunity and family support. Sen. Mayne’s list of accomplishments on behalf of her constituents and state is long and revered. She is one of the most effective legislators and consistently passes the most bills during sessions. This is a testament to her tenacity, hard work and resilience. Utah has been blessed because of her service.”

Sen. Luz Escamilla, the current Senate minority leader, called Mayne the epitome of “true public service and representation.”

“Her dedication to her district and to the people of Utah has been thoughtful, genuine, and kind-hearted every step of the way,” Escamilla writes. “She has consistently championed legislation to support the health, well-being, and security of working families throughout the state of Utah. Her extensive legacy is a guiding light for public policy to embrace more compassion, more care, and more attention to the people of Utah.

Utah Democratic Party Chair Diane Lewis said Mayne has long been a “powerhouse” at the Utah State Capitol, and her loss in the Senate will be felt deeply.

“She has served the people of her district with integrity and passion for many years, and she has accomplished significant things during her time on Capitol Hill, fighting for the working families of our state every step of the way,” Lewis said. “For years before serving in the Senate, she and her husband Ed were champions for the dignity of Utah workers, and she has continued that fight… Her legacy of public service will not be forgotten. We are sending our well-wishes to her and her family, and we sincerely thank her for her dedication and service to our state.”

Details of the special election to fill Mayne’s seat in District 12 will be announced shortly, according to Lewis.

Outside of legislative work, Mayne used to work as a para-educator in the Granite School District. The senator will be stepping down on Monday, Jan. 16, a day before the 2023 Utah legislative session is set to commence.

“It has truly been an honor to serve,” she concludes in her letter.