State Rep. Jon Stanard abruptly resigned his House seat Tuesday night, with fellow GOP House members being tight-lipped on exactly what has happened.
Stanard’s resignation is immediate. He was not present Wednesday in the Capitol.
The St. George Republican was first elected in 2012 and had been moving up the ranks of leadership.
He was serving as vice chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee.
He will be replaced as vice chair by Rep. Val Peterson, R-Orem, who is already on the committee.
And Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, will move on to the eight-member committee to fill the opening.
At a closed House caucus meeting Wednesday morning, House leaders asked their caucus members not to speculate on Stanard’s reasons for resigning.
But various sources have told UtahPolicy that Stanard may be facing serious legal problems, not associated with his public service, and with that hanging over him he decided to step out of office.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday afternoon that Stanard says his father has terminal brain cancer and he resigned to spend time with him out of state.
Stanard’s current conflict of interest form shows he is a marketing consultant for Direct Hit Inc. In St. George.
He is also a managing partner in Wasatch Savings, with a Sandy address, which is a savings book discount firm.
Stanard deleted his social media accounts and took down his campaign website sometime in the past day.
Republican state delegates in House District 62 will be called into a special meeting soon to consider candidates to fill the open seat.
A name will be sent to GOP Gov. Gary Herbert, who will pass that name along to the House for appointment.
Next week marks the halfway point in 2018, 45-day general session, so it is unclear if a replacement for Stanard can be seated before the end of the session March 8.
Resignations from the part-time, 104-member Legislature are actually rather common – but for reasons other than the problems apparently facing Stanard.
Several years ago, the majority leader of the Senate resigned after being arrested for a DUI.
And just weeks before the 2018 session began, one GOP senator and a Republican House leader resigned to take new jobs out of state.