Longtime House Republican Chris Stewart, representing Utah’s 2nd Congressional district, this week announced plans to retire by the end of the year.

Stewart, a U.S. Air Force veteran first elected to Congress in 2013, later became president and CEO of the Shipley Group.

“It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve the good people of Utah in Congress,” Rep. Stewart said. “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,” Stewart continued. “My family and I have been very blessed by this experience. 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.”

Stewart did not specify exactly when he would leave Congress beyond simply that it will be before the end of the year.

Utah law requires Governor Spencer Cox to lay out a schedule within seven days of Stewart leaving office to replace him with a special election. If he does not, the election will happen on Election Day.

The most recent special election for an Utah Congressional seat was in 2017, when Jason Chaffetz resigned in order to work at Fox News. He formally retired in May, with a primary occurring in August and the special election in November.

While his seat is safely Republican, it leaves a margin for House Republicans of just four seats. Also, as an appropriator, he leaves an open seat on the House Appropriations Committee as well.