ST. GEORGE — Rumors have once again placed U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart on the president’s short list to become the next secretary of the Air Force.
The Republican congressman’s office has issued a denial of the rumor.
The rumor comes in the wake of current Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson’s announcement earlier this month that she is stepping down at the end of May. She’s leaving to become the president of the University of Texas at El Paso.
In response to the rumor, which was reported Wednesday by Utah Policy, Stewart’s office emailed the following statement to media: “Mr. Stewart loves his work in Congress and fully expects to continue to serve the people of Utah’s Second District for the entirety of his term.”
Stewart was originally among those considered to become the civilian head of the Air Force in late 2016 by then President-elect Donald Trump.
The secretary of the Air Force works under the secretary of defense and oversees the Air Force’s active duty personnel, as well as those serving in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. The branch’s civilian personnel also fall under the secretary’s umbrella.
Stewart is serving his fourth term in Congress representing Utah’s 2nd Congressional District and is an Air Force veteran. He retired with the rank of major and piloted the B-1B bomber and rescue helicopters during his 14 years with the military.
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