Rep. Stanard resigns from House to address ‘family concerns’

Former state Rep. Jon Stanard, of St. George, shares his concerns about legalizing medical marijuana during an "Issues Over Eggs" breakfast gathering, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2017 | File photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – St. George Republican Rep. Jon Stanard abruptly resigned from the Legislature Tuesday night in order to spend time with a terminally ill family member.

Speaker of the House Greg Hughes, R-Draper, announced Wednesday morning that Stanard had resigned the night before.

“Last night Rep. Stanard unexpectedly resigned due to personal and family concerns. We will honor his request for privacy, and ask that others do the same. We wish Jon and his family the best at this time,” Hughes said in a statement, as reported by the Deseret News.

Stanard told the Associated Press via a text that his father has terminal cancer and that he wants to spend time with him.

Stanard spoke about his father’s cancer in 2016 at an event at Salt Lake City’s Huntsman Cancer Institute. Stanard said his father was rushed to the institute after his doctors in Montana weren’t able to perform the right tests on a tumor in his throat.

In the wake of his resignation, Stanard has apparently deleted his social media accounts.

“The Washington County Republican Party respects what Rep. Stanard has done for the county and will respect his privacy,” Washington County GOP chair Jimi Kestin told St. George News.

As for the circumstances surrounding the resignation, Kestin said he only knew what has been reported in the media.

Stanard was elected to the Legislature in 2012 as the representative of House District 62 and was serving as the chair of the House Rules Committee prior to this resignation. He also served on the House’s Revenue and Taxation Committee, Business and Labor Committee and Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

Stanard’s resignation also comes in the middle of the 2018 legislative session. According to the Utah Legislature website, Stanard had two proposed bills in the works that have since been abandoned.

The Washington County Republican Party will see to picking a replacement for Stanard, Kestin said, though it will be seeking clarification on the process of choosing a replacement during a legislative session.

“These things are spelled out (in the law),” Kestin said, adding he wants to make sure the county party’s central committee goes about it correctly.

The interim replacement will serve the remainder of Stanard’s term in office.

Attempts to contact Stanard were not returned by time of publication.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Ed. note: This story has been updated with comments from Washington County Republican Party chair Jimi Kestin.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.


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  • comments February 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    Yeah, I don’t buy it. Could be he got caught having secret gay liaisons, he’s been messing w/ underage girls, or something as ordinary (for a politician) as stealing money or taking bribes.

    • ladybugavenger February 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      Hey Bob, I’m buying your gay liaison theory.

      • comments February 7, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        if i was puttin’ money on it I might pick that horse 😉


  • mctrialsguy February 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Stay tuned to this channel, there is obviously far more to this story…

  • 12345 February 8, 2018 at 6:35 am

    I will wait till the absolute comes out . I’m not one to go flying off on a drop of a dime and start making accusations and judging someone before the facts come out

  • panda February 8, 2018 at 9:06 am

    I personally met with Stanard last Friday for a college class I’m taking. I was on my way to visit my terminally ill father and he talked to me about his father. Good grief – sometimes a bird is just a bird. He is a decent man who wants the best for everyone.

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