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.
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