Add another name to the growing list of candidates for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. Republican Chris Stewart has decided to seek the GOP nomination in 2012.
Stewart’s name might be familiar to Utahns. He is the younger brother of federal Judge Ted Stewart and is the author of several books, including The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World and Seven Miracles that Saved America.
Stewart says he decided to run because he thinks he can make a difference in Washington.
“Everything in my life has brought me to this point. I spent 14 years as a pilot and an officer in the Air Force. I feel like our nation is on a perilous path and I can’t stand to watch what’s happening. I feel like its time for me to take a stand.”
Stewart describes himself as a “conservative Republican,” which he is careful to point out is much different from a “moderate Republican.” He worries about the rising debt in Washington, which helps him identify with some elements of the Tea Party.
But that’s not his only issue. He says his military experience would be a big benefit to Utah.
“Utah has some of the most valuable national defense properties in the nation. As a pilot, I used them regularly,” says Stewart. “None of our current Congressional delegation has any military experience. That’s something I could bring to the table.”
Stewart says if he is elected, he'll be able to temper his conservatism with pragmatism. “You have to recognize that you have to work with people. You have to have a practical application to your principles as well. I know what I believe, and will go back to D.C. to fight for those things, but you have to get some practical effect as well. You can’t just keep falling on your sword over and over again because of your principles.”
The 2nd District has a number of Republicans who have already declared they want that nomination. Stewart says there’s one thing that sets him apart from the other GOP hopefuls who have declared so far. “Most of those people don’t live in the district. I think the district is strong enough that we can provide our own leadership, and we don’t need to look outside.”