Rep. Travis Seegmiller to step down from the Utah Legislature, but could still win GOP primary

Seegmiller, who will face two Republican primary challengers, told House leaders he was moving out of his St. George district.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Rep. Travis Seegmiller makes a comment about one of the proposed designs for a new Utah flag, during the discussion of one of the two bills that could lead to the adoption of a new state flag to the House Government Operations Committee, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Seegmiller, R-St. George, announced his resignation from the Utah Legislature on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, abruptly announced his resignation from the Utah Legislature on Tuesday.

In a letter to Utah House leadership, Seegmiller said he was moving out of his current legislative district, prompting his resignation, which is effective July 1.

“An unexpected opportunity has arisen that will allow me, my wife and our young children to eventually continue our family’s farming heritage elsewhere for generations to come,” Seegmiller wrote.

Seegmiller’s resignation date is two days after the Republican primary election. Unless he officially withdraws from the race, there’s a chance he could win the primary election and then resign, which would let Republican delegates choose his successor instead of primary voters. Seegmiller narrowly avoided elimination from the race at the Washington County Republican Convention, getting just enough support from delegates to qualify for the primary.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Seegmiller had not yet officially stepped aside from the election. Seegmiller did not respond to messages asking whether he intended to withdraw.

House Speaker Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, announced Seegmiller’s decision to colleagues Tuesday morning.

“I appreciate Rep. Seegmiller’s service and accept his resignation. I wish Rep. Seegmiller and his family well in their future plans and endeavors,” Wilson said in a statement.

Seegmiller was appointed to the legislature in 2018 to replace Jon Stanard, who stepped down after being accused of meeting a call girl for sex and using public money to pay for those hotel rooms.

Seegmiller recently pleaded no contest in a poaching case after reportedly shooting and killing a deer on private property.

Seegmiller was facing a three-way primary for the GOP nomination in June. His resignation leaves two Republicans, Nina Barnes and Colin Jack, on the ballot for House District 73. The winner of the GOP nomination will be unopposed in November as there’s no Democrat on the ballot.

The Washington County Republican Party will vote on a replacement to serve out the remainder of Seegmiller’s term.