Replacement rep in the Utah State Legislature ‘drinking from the firehose’

SALT LAKE CITY -- Rep. Travis Seegmiller is finding his way around the Utah State Capitol.

He's learning where committee rooms are, the nuances of a floor vote, and who to caucus with.

"I think I’ve heard the term, 'drinking from the firehose!'" Rep. Seegmiller, R-St. George, said in a recent interview with FOX 13 just after his first round of floor votes last week.

Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, in an interview with FOX 13. (Image by Eric Weseman, FOX 13 News)

The new representative was picked by Washington County GOP delegates following the abrupt resignation of Jon Stanard as the 2018 Utah State Legislature was getting under way. The day after Stanard quit, an escort claimed to a British tabloid that he had paid her for a pair of sexual encounters.

In an interview with FOX 13, Rep. Seegmiller declined to comment on the scandal surrounding his predecessor except to say delegates wanted him to "bring a noble and dignified solution to the problem that we had." Delegates, he said, also wanted him in the legislature ASAP.

"I was told if I could have been here yesterday, that would have been better," he chuckled. "Since I’m from southern Utah, I had to at least pack my bags and iron a few shirts before I could get up here."

Describing his political philosophy as "caring, constitutional conservatism," Rep. Seegmiller, whose day job is a Dixie State University professor, said he has no plans to run any bills in the remaining weeks of the Utah State Legislature.

"My priorities are number one, just do my best to come up to speed as fast as I can, so I can be fully informed on every bill that comes my way," he said. "So I know I’ll be representing the values of the people who sent me here."

Rep. Seegmiller also confessed he is not sure if he will seek re-election. As soon as the legislative session ends in March, the filing period opens for lawmakers to formally declare their intentions.

"I’ll get up there, serve as hard as I can, buckle up, roll up my sleeves in public service for my first time and see what happens," he said. "If I can really, represent your needs and issues, and take care of what you need taken care of and I love it? I’ll stick with it. And if I’m ineffective, and it doesn’t work for you, me, lets get a better person."