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Top GOP leader in Utah House announces surprise resignation

Francis Gibson
Posted at 4:48 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 19:15:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — After 13 years in the Utah Legislature, House Majority Leader Francis Gibson announced Tuesday that he is resigning, effective Nov. 8.

In a statement, Rep. Gibson, R-Mapleton, said he was resigning to spend more time at his day job as a hospital administrator, and with his family.

"Serving in the House has been the honor of a lifetime and I could not be more proud of the work my colleagues and I have accomplished. I am forever grateful to the people of House District 65 for allowing me to serve and represent them. While I have really loved my time in the Legislature, it has come with significant sacrifice. I have missed important family events and key moments in my children’s lives," he said. "I have given my best to so many people and to so many great causes but many times I have not given my best with those who matter most, my family. 'Representative' will always be one of my favorite roles, but at this time, I need to focus more on my role as a husband and father. I look forward to this next phase of life as I direct my full attention to my career and spend much-needed time with my wife and children."

Rep. Gibson was first elected to the Utah State Legislature in 2009. In 2018, he was elevated to Majority Leader, the second most powerful position in the Utah House of Representatives. Among his biggest legislative accomplishments was pushing through the inland port legislation, tax bills and data privacy bills.

"Rep. Gibson has not only been my right-hand man and a trusted colleague, but he has also become one of my closest friends," said House Speaker Brad Wilson in a statement. "He has worked tirelessly to find practical and workable solutions to some of Utah’s most difficult challenges and Utah is better off because of his service. While deeply saddened to see him leave, he is doing so to focus on his family and there is nothing more important than that. I wish him the best and know he will always find ways to serve his community in any role he takes on."

The Utah County Republican Party will select Rep. Gibson's replacement in the House later this year. However, the House Majority Caucus will hold its own election in mid-November to replace him in caucus leadership.