Chris Stewart isn’t leaving Washington yet, starts new lobbying firm

Skyline Capitol, a government affairs firm, was created a month after Stewart announced he was leaving Congress.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, speaks at an event for the Sutherland Institute at the University of Utah, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. Now that he has retired from Congress, Stewart has started a new lobbying firm.

Chris Stewart isn’t leaving Washington for good.

Instead of cleaning out his congressional office and shipping his belongings a couple thousand miles to his Farmington home, Stewart is setting up shop a couple miles away from Capitol Hill — the firm will join countless others on Washington’s storied K Street.

Just over 72 hours after Stewart’s final day in office, American Global Strategies — a consultancy co-founded by Utahn Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser to former President Donald Trump — announced a partnership with Skyline Capitol, a new government affairs firm headed by the now-retired representative.

O’Brien was rumored to be mulling a run for Utah’s U.S. Senate seat in 2024, but told radio host Glenn Beck on Monday that he wasn’t interested in the position.

The firm appears to have incorporated as a limited liability company in Delaware on June 28, according to the state’s Division of Corporations’ database, less than a month after The Salt Lake Tribune first reported that he would be leaving Congress.

While Stewart is prohibited from connecting clients directly to his former Capitol Hill colleagues until next September, he can begin currying favor at the White House, and offering advice on how to navigate the legislative branch.

Skyline Capitol’s website advertises Stewart’s experience on the House Intelligence and Appropriations committees, as well as his time in the Air Force and leading an energy and environmental consulting company before being elected to Congress. The firm says it specializes in the defense, tech, automotive and transportation industries, along with representing the interests of state and local governments.

Also working at Skyline Capitol is Clay White, Stewart’s former chief of staff. The firm, which shares a building with The Washington Post’s headquarters, did not immediately respond to an email from The Salt Lake Tribune.

First elected by Utahns in 2012, Stewart left Congress nine months into his sixth term, and less than a year after he’d won reelection by over 30 percentage points.

“I can say with pride that I have been an effective leader for my beloved home state, and I’m honored to have played an important role in guiding our nation through some troubled times,” Stewart said in his May announcement. “But my wife’s health concerns have made it necessary that I retire from Congress after an orderly transition can be ensured.”

Earlier this month, Celeste Maloy, an attorney and former Stewart staffer, won the vote of Utah Republicans in a special congressional primary election in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

She’ll face educator and state Sen. Kathleen Riebe in November’s special general election to determine which Utahn will replace Stewart in Congress.