Lawmaker resigns from Utah House of Representatives, Church employment

Local Politics

In this Jan. 30, 2020, photo, Republican sponsor Rep. Steve Christiansen poses for a portrait at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Abortion clinics would be required to cremate fetal remains and women would have to get an ultrasound before the procedure under proposals that passed the Utah House this week, over objections that the new rules would erode access to abortion. Republican sponsor Christiansen said those steps could make a woman choose not to have an abortion. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It has been just over two years since Steve Christiansen joined the Utah House of Representatives following a special election. Now, just a short time after Christiansen called for an election audit, he is stepping down from his position.

Thursday, Christiansen, a Republican representing House District 47 since 2019, confirmed his resignation in a letter shared to his Facebook page. In that letter, Christiansen says he his time as a lawmaker has “increasingly been spent pushing back against government overreach, excessive spending growth, policies that limit freedoms and liberty, and anything that weakens faith, families, the sanctity of life, and the sacred rights with which we have been blessed.”

He continues, saying that while he expected to be “personally maligned and ridiculed,” he did not “expect to see individuals attack [his] wife as they have.”

“Primarily for that reason, it has become necessary to ‘pause,” the letter continues. Christiansen has also retired from his employment with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He explains he does “not wish to infer that my views represent those” of the Church.

Earlier this month, Christiansen appeared on Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ podcast and discussed his efforts to bring election reform to Utah. He specifically mentions Utah’s vote-by-mail program and ranked-choice voting. Christiansen has also sponsored bills related to abortions and keeping students from voting during local school board elections.

Speaker of the House Brad Wilson took to Twitter after the resignation to “wish Steve the best and congratulate him on his retirement.”

Christiansen’s departure comes just days after House Majority Leader Francis Gibson announced his resignation. Following 17 years of elected service, Gibson made the decision to focus on his career and family.

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