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David Clark resigning from Utah House

Published: Monday, Dec. 19 2011 12:24 p.m. MST

At right, former Speaker of the House, David Clark, swears in newly elected Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011. Clark has officially announced his resignation from the Utah State House of Representatives effective Jan. 5.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. David Clark, R-Santa Clara, has officially announced his resignation from the Utah State House of Representatives effective Jan. 5.

The former Speaker of the Utah State House sent current House Speaker Becky Lockhart a letter Monday, stating "It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today to announce my resignation. … To leave such an august body and wonderfully dedicated public servants is difficult."

Clark didn't detail the reason for his resignation, but a press release sent out with the letter stated he plans to "contemplate the best way to continue his service to his community and the state."

Clark has previously said he plans to run for Congress, but a Utah law prohibiting fundraising during the state's legislative session would prevent him from serving in his local office while preparing for a national bid.

"Any candidate who is looking at federal office will find it becomes extremely difficult to do both jobs," said Clark, a banker, last week.

Lockhart said Monday the House will miss his expertise and influence, particularly related to health care reform in the state.

"It's always really tough to lose a veteran legislator," she said. "He made great contributions to the body and championed some significant issues."

Republican delegates in Washington County will meet in coming weeks to vote on a mid-term replacement. Once the delegates decide who they will support, the state party will vote and the name will be passed on to the governor who will approve the final appointment. A successor will likely be in place before the Legislature convenes on Jan. 23.

"These kinds of things happen for various reasons," Lockhart said. "We're more than capable of making new committee assignments. ... We always have new legislators with great abilities."

Clark was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2000 and served as the majority leader from 2006-08 and House speaker from 2008-10.

Contributing: Associated Press

E-mail: mfarmer@desnews.com, Twitter: mollyfarmer

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