Watchdog group calls for resignation of Reps. Stewart, Owens over rejecting electoral college votes

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, holds a town hall with the employees of CargoGlide while visiting the St. George-based manufacturer, St. George, Utah, July 30, 2018 | File Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Utah-based government watchdog group is calling for the resignation of congressmen Chris Stewart and Burgess Owen following their voting to reject certain electoral college votes on Wednesday during a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C., and thus potentially overturn the election in favor of President Donald Trump.

In this May 2017 file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass, May 24, 2017 | Associated Press file photo by Steven Senne, St. George News

Alliance for a Better Utah is calling on the two congressman to resign immediately for voting to reject Pennsylvania’s electoral votes for President-elect Joe Biden. Pennsylvania is one of the states where allegations of voting irregularities arose following the general election, along with claims state officials did not follow their own state’s constitution regarding the matter.

“Since the election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court rejected multiple GOP efforts to overturn the results of Pennsylvania’s election,” Better Utah stated in a press release issued Thursday.

“With their votes to overturn a free and fair election in Pennsylvania, Representatives Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart have proven just how low they’re willing to go in,” Chase Thomas, executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah, said in Thursday’s press release.

“This is exactly the kind of behavior that resulted in the horrific attack on the Capitol and our nation yesterday, and our Representatives must face the reality that their incendiary words and actions are fueling the fire of violence and extremism,” Thomas said.

The run by pro-Trump protesters on the Capitol resulted in numerous acts of vandalism and two people being shot, including a California woman who died soon after due to her injuries.

Once law enforcement was able to clear protesters from the Capitol, Congress resumed the counting and certifying of the electoral college votes. Owens and Stewart added their names to a group of fellow GOP congress members who objected once Pennsylvania’s votes were presented.

In this file photo, Burgess Owens, then a Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District, speaks with people during an Utah Republican election night party in Sandy, Utah, Nov. 3, 2020 | AP file photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

“After serious thought and consideration, I will not vote to certify the election. I believe there are critical questions that need to be answered concerning our Presidential election,” Stewart said in a social media post Monday.

“President-elect Joe Biden deserves to enter his Presidency without this cloud hanging over him, President Trump deserves answers, and most importantly, the American people deserve to have their confidence in our elections restored,” he said.

Stewart, who represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, won reelection last year while Owens is starting his first term representing Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Owens defeated incumbent Ben McAdams, Utah’s sole congressional Democrat, in last year’s election.

Thomas said Reps. Owens and Stewart have chosen to fight against democracy for the sake of their own political ambition and must accept the consequences of their actions.

“They can no longer be trusted to hold the sacred offices to which they were elected. They must resign immediately,” he said in the press release.

As for the rest of Utah’s congressional delegation, Reps. John Curtis and Blake Moore and Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney voted to accept the certification of the electoral college votes for President-elect Joe Biden.

Each congressman and senator, particularly Romney, has voiced his condemnation of the violence that occurred at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!