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Chris Stewart’s next big challenge — Congress

The novelist, former pilot says he feels compelled to run for U.S. House seat.

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"He told me he’d been toying around with this book for quite a few years," Clotfelter said. "It was the first time I’d been flying with someone for three or four years and found out something personal like that — that he was a writer. He said he’d been working on it, and he said his wife had told him if he was going to make a go at it, he needed to crap or get off the pot."

That book ended up being Shattered Bone.

At a glance

The Chris Stewart file

Age » 52

Born » Logan

Family » Married with six children

Occupation » Author, businessman

Education » Utah State University, economics degree

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Stewart said writing has been the one common thread in his life — dating back to his first writing course at Brigham Young University while in his early 20s. He said the class didn’t give him much hope as an author.

"I got my report card from the creative writing class and got an incomplete," Stewart said. "The instructor said that all my writing through the course had been marginal and that my last story was pretty good. Then he said, ‘I don’t think you wrote it.’ "

Stewart said writing for him since then has been compulsive and that his experiences always seem to become material for his books. He said he was sure his time on the campaign trail also would provide good material — an irony given what happened at the State Republican Party Convention in April.

Conspiracy theory » It had all the elements of a political-conspiracy novel.

Stewart, locked into an 11-person race for the GOP nomination for the 2nd Congressional District, showed up at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy and prepared to give his speech to delegates and convince them that Congress needed more members with military experience and someone with an economics pedigree.

After the candidates spoke, the delegates would vote and if anyone could eclipse 60 percent, they would nab the party’s nomination.

But Eureka Mayor Milton Hanks blew things up as the last speaker when he accused four candidates of forming the "ABC Club," which stood for "Anybody But Chris [Stewart]." Hanks said it was a low-blow tactic to conspire against Stewart. The four candidates, in turn, accused Stewart of planting Hanks in the race as a ploy to destroy their chances of winning.

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A Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint filed by Cherilyn Eagar, David Clark, Howard Wallack and John Williams alleged Stewart’s campaign manufactured an anonymous letter to delegates claiming the four had started the ABC Club and that Hanks was in on the conspiracy.

Other than the ongoing FEC investigation, it all turned out well for Stewart. He clinched the nomination and later got the stamp of approval from the state Republican Party, which declared, after an internal probe, that there had been no wrongdoing.

Rich Stewart said after it all went down April 21, he went backstage and gave his brother a quick hug.

"I just told him this would pass," Rich Stewart said. "That it would work out."

Stewart also had some big guns come to his defense — including conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck.

Beck, who had worked on books with Stewart, calls him "a good friend of mine" and had Hanks on his show shortly after the scandal. Beck said Stewart is among a group of "good honest men that are still out there who refuse to play the political game."

Balanced budget » On a Friday night, the Viewmont High School football team is being trounced by rival Davis High School.

Chris Stewart and his wife, Evie, were there to watch their youngest daughter on the drill team at the halftime show and volunteer to work the snack shed.

All night, he’d been dishing out hot dogs and candy amid verbal exchanges punctuated with heavy usage of the word "dude" and a lot of "y’all’s."

When halftime hit, Stewart sat in the stands, cupped his hands to his mouth and cheered as his daughter performed to a bass-heavy dance song forced through a tinny speaker. The diffused sound, however, didn’t seem to hamper the routine and it didn’t bother Stewart — who admitted his music tastes trended more toward 3 Doors Down and Pink Floyd than to most hip-hop.

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