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Sen. Karen Mayne to resign from the Utah State Legislature after health takes an 'unexpected turn'

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jan 04, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — Senate Minority Whip Karen Mayne announced that she would resign from the Utah State Legislature telling Senate colleagues her health has taken an "unexpected turn."

The powerful West Valley City Democrat, consistently one of the top-bill passing lawmakers in the Republican supermajority, recently stepped down as Senate Minority Leader as she continues to battle cancer. She has served on Capitol Hill for 15 years. She was elected to the post following the death of her husband, Sen. Ed Mayne.

In a letter to Senate President J. Stuart Adams, Sen. Mayne said her health made it difficult for her to participate in the legislature full-time. She participated remotely for much of the last session as she underwent treatments.

"After much prayer, personal consideration and deliberation with my family, I have made the difficult decision to resign my position as Senator for Utah Senate District 12," she wrote. "Since the election in November of 2022, my health has taken an unexpected turn, and the constituents of District 12 deserve full-time representation at the beginning of the legislative session on Jan. 17, 2023."

Her resignation is effective Jan. 16. In a statement, the Senate President said he accepted her resignation with a "heavy heart."

"With grace and tact, Sen. Mayne has navigated difficult circumstances and been a true champion for her district and the state of Utah. I am lucky to call her a dear friend and will miss her wisdom and fortitude in the Senate," Sen. Adams, R-Layton, said in a statement. "Sen. Mayne has been a strong force for bipartisan camaraderie, which has strengthened our state. Throughout her 15 years in the Legislature, she has passionately advocated for impactful change, including workforce safety, economic opportunity and family support. Sen. Mayne’s list of accomplishments on behalf of her constituents and state is long and revered. She is one of the most effective legislators and consistently passes the most bills during sessions. This is a testament to her tenacity, hard work and resilience. Utah has been blessed because of her service."

Senate Minority Leader Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, called her colleague the "epitome of what true public service and representation is all about."

"While we are heartbroken about her resignation, we are rallying behind Sen. Mayne. We look forward to her community-minded efforts continuing to have an impact throughout the state," she said in a statement.

Tributes poured in from across Utah's Capitol Hill with Republicans and Democrats offering their love and support for the revered lawmaker.

Salt Lake County Democratic Party delegates will choose Sen. Mayne's replacement.