SALT LAKE CITY — Senator Steve Urquhart, a Republican who represents St. George, announced Wednesday he is resigning from the Utah Senate effective September 9.
In a letter to Senate President Wayne Niederhauser, Urquhart explains that while he intended to finish his current term, his post-legislative life has moved in a direction that makes resignation necessary.
Urquhart will be working for the University of Utah as a global ambassador, and he said he has been splitting his time between Salt Lake City and St. George. However, now that a property he is remodeling is nearly complete, he is moving to Salt Lake City. Because he will no longer live in the area he represents (District 29) Urquhart is resigning.
“Senator Urquhart exhibited exceptional talent and courage in his legislative career,” Niederhauser stated. “I have admired his character and ability. His capacity as a legislator will be greatly missed, along with his distinct wit and candor.”
According to the press release accompanying the letter, Urquhart served in the Utah Legislature for 16 years, eight of which was in the House of Representatives and eight in the Senate.
During his time in the legislature he worked toward, “higher education reform, the Utah Compromise for LGBT and religious liberties, anti-discrimination, and abolishing the death penalty.”
The full text of the resignation letter is reproduced below:
“I write to inform you that will I resign from the Senate effective September 9, 2016.
I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause the Senate. I wanted to–and anticipated that I would–finish my current term at the end of this year, but things are moving faster than I had anticipated with my post-legislative life. I will be working for the University of Utah as a global ambassador, looking to make the U’s international efforts bigger and better by bringing on corporate, government, and others to partner with the U and its students. As you can imagine, I am very excited to work to make the University and higher education better.
As part of this assignment, I will live in Salt Lake City. Currently, I am splitting time between St. George and Salt Lake (and various locations throughout the world). However, with remodeling nearing completion on a property I purchased in Salt Lake and my work at the U progressing nicely, I need to permanently move to Salt Lake City–meaning that I will live outside my district and, therefore, meaning that I will need to resign my Senate seat.
It has been one of the greatest pleasures of my life to serve in the Utah Legislature and the Utah Senate. It is still just absolutely amazing and humbling to me that I have been able to do this. I love our State and the good people of Washington County. I hope and believe I leave the State a bit better than I found it when I entered the Legislature in 2001. The experience surely has left me a better person.
I want to thank you for your leadership and friendship. Mine was the privilege of working with many great leaders, and I place you at the top of that outstanding group. Whether you have personally agreed or disagreed with my position on issues, you always have respected and supported my desires to represent my constituents as I thought best and as I was uniquely charged to do as the Senator from District 29. You believe in the process, the Constitutions that direct us, and–I have always felt–you believe in me. That means a lot.
I will miss you, our colleagues, and the Senate. I will miss working daily for my constituents. But the work goes on. Please guide our beautiful Senate and the wonderful State of Utah. God bless them both!”