SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Rep. Chris Stewart, 62, officially resigned from his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday after six terms in office.

In a statement released on social media, Stewart said it was one of the great honors of his life to serve the people of Utah in Congress. Stewart cited his wife’s health concerns as the reasons for stepping down from his position.

“My wife and I have made so many dear friends and memories throughout our journey,” Stewart said in his statement. “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.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox is expected to call for a special election to fill Stewart’s seat in the House of Representatives. The winner of that election will finish Stewart’s current term, which will end on Jan. 3, 2025. Stewart’s seat is considered a safe win by the GOP, as voters have reliably voted Republican in District 2 for many years.

“Rep. Chris Stewart is an exceptional American, effective conservative voice and good friend,” tweeted Cox this morning. “We’re grateful for his considerable leadership and his unwavering commitment to representing our state. We honor his service and wish him and his family all the best.”

Stewart currently serves as a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Appropriations Committee.

Stewart was elected to represent District 2 in Utah, a seat he has held since 2013. He most recently defeated three challengers in the November 2022 General Election with 63.4% of the vote.

Stewart’s fellow Utah congressmen released a joint statement this morning praising their colleague. U.S. Reps. John Curtis, Burgess Owens and Blake Moore stated the following:

“We are deeply saddened by the announcement of our dear friend, Rep. Chris Stewart. Throughout our time in this institution, he has warmly embraced each of us and played a vital role in our collective achievements for the people of Utah. As the Dean of our delegation, Chris has been an invaluable source of guidance, and we know that his wisdom will remain accessible during the remainder of his time here and after his departure. Utah is losing a dedicated public servant, and his presence will be greatly missed within these chambers. As he transitions to prioritizing time with Evie, we extend our thoughts and support to him and his entire family.

U.S. Reps. John Curtis, Burgess Owens and Blake Moore

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney also released a statement on Twitter:

“Congressman Stewart has dutifully served our state and Utahns in the Second Congressional District for over a decade,” stated Romney. “A former Air Force pilot, Chris has consistently worked to safeguard the role Utah plays in our national defense. Ann and I are praying for the Stewart family.”

U.S. Sen. Mike Lee called Stewart a “true statesman who has consistently demonstrated dedication and integrity while tirelessly fighting for the interests and well-being of his constituents. His strong leadership on national security, energy policy, and veteran affairs, no doubt informed by his own honorable military service, has earned him respect and admiration from colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes called Stewart a dear friend and patriot, saying he has served the nation “honorably, passionately, and effectively” in Congress.

“Among his many policy victories, his passing of the bill which created 988 for mental and behavioral health emergencies will save countless lives in America and endure as part of his legislative legacy,” said Reyes. “Chris is an officer and gentleman who has sacrificed much to serve during his career in the Armed Services and in public office. While we will miss his leadership in DC, I’m so glad he will have more time now to focus on (his wife) Evie and his family.”

Utah Senate President Stuart Adams shared his appreciation on social media for Stewart’s career, saying his leadership in Congress will be missed. “My prayers are with Rep. Stewart, his wife, and his family at this time,” said Adams.

Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson called Stewart a “stalwart example of duty, sacrifice, and public service. He has been a reasonable, respected, and appreciated voice for Utahns. I appreciate his service to our nation and to our state and wish him and his family all the best.”

Prior to his political career, Stewart served as the CEO of Shipley Group and was a record-breaking pilot for the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1998. According to his official biography, Stewart “holds three world speed records, including the world’s record for the fastest non-stop flight around the world. He is also the author of 17 books.

Stewart ended his statement by saying he and his family have been very blessed by the experience and thanked everyone who supported and sacrificed to help him and his family.

“The fight goes on,” said Stewart. “God bless all of you and God bless our nation.”