SALT LAKE CITY — Saying he still has work to do, Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, announced Tuesday he is seeking re-election.
Stewart took Utah's 2nd Congressional District seat in 2012 when Utah's only Democrat in the House, Jim Matheson, opted to run in the state's new 4th District.
He kicked off his re-election bid as a guest on KSL Newsradio's "The Doug Wright Show," discussing his time in the military, the nation's political climate and political happenings in Utah, including a federal judge's recent decision overruling the state's constitutional amendment defining marriage.
Stewart said he was disappointed in U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby's ruling, but he remains optimistic the U.S. Supreme Court will assert states' ability to define marriage.
"I was obviously disappointed in the ruling because I think that is a state's prerogative," he said.
Stewart also said Judge Shelby's unwillingness to stay his decision, "knowing that it would go through the process, knowing it would go through the appellate system," was "hurtful to everyone."
Utah constituents are concerned about the country's economy and expansion of the federal government, Stewart said in a new release announcing his candidacy.
"The overwhelming message I have received from the people of Utah is that they are concerned about the economy and worried about the rapid growth and expansion of the federal government," he said.
State Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake City, announced in September she intends to challenge Stewart for the District 2 seat.
Stewart spoke Tuesday about the support he received from his family when he decided to run for re-election.
"We're grateful for the opportunity, but it's hard on a family," said Stewart, who likened the experience to his time as an Air Force pilot. "We didn't think we'd find ourselves again where we knew we would be separated but we just feel compelled. I mean, our nation is in such trouble, and if I can help, and I think I can, I want to get in that fight."
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