Christopher Douglas "Chris" Stewart (born July 15, 1960) is an American author, businessman, and politician known for his bestsellers Seven Miracles That Saved America and The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World. He currently represents Utah's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.
Stewart graduated from Utah State University in 1984 before joining the United States Air Force. During his time in the Air Force, Stewart set three world speed records including the fastest nonstop flight around the world. After his service, Stewart began writing novels and became the President and CEO of the Shipley Group. His New York Times bestsellers, Seven Miracles That Saved America and The Miracle of Freedom were published on October 14, 2009 and June 3, 2011. He formally announced his candidacy for Congress on December 6, 2011.
Stewart was born in Logan, Utah, and grew up on a dairy farm in Cache Valley, an agricultural valley of northern Utah and southeastern Idaho. His father was a retired Air Force pilot and teacher. His mother, Sybil S. Stewart, was a full-time homemaker and was recognized as the Utah Mother of the Year in 1996.
Stewart graduated from Sky View High School in 1978 and entered Utah State University in the fall of the same year. After a year in college, Stewart took a break and served as a Mormon missionary in Texas. After his church service, Stewart re-entered Utah State University, and in 1984 earned a degree in economics from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.
Stewart served in the Air Force for 14 years, initially flying rescue helicopters and then transitioning to fixed-wing jets and flying the B-1B bomber. He was stationed at Dyess Air Force Base, Mountain Home Air Force Base, and other Air Force bases.
After college, Stewart was accepted into the Air Force's Officer Training School, followed by assignment to Undergraduate Pilot Training. Stewart was awarded the Distinguished Graduate (top of the class) designation in both endeavors. As the distinguished graduate, Stewart was trained to fly helicopters and jet aircraft. Only two officers are accepted into this dual-training program per year.
In 1995, Stewart was awarded the Mackay Trophy for "significant aerial achievement" for the combat capability operation known as Coronet Bat. On June 3, 1995, Chris and a flight of two B-1s set the world record for the fastest non-stop flight around the world. Stewart was the senior project officer for this mission. The purpose of the mission was to demonstrate the capability of the B-1 Lancer with live bombing activity over three bombing ranges on three continents in two hemispheres. In the process, the team set three world records, flying 36,797.65 kilometers in 36 hours 13 minutes.
The mission was recounted in the film Supersonic Saints: Thrilling Stories from LDS Pilots.
After his military career, Stewart turned to the private sector. He was the president and CEO of the Shipley Group, a consulting company that specializes in energy and environmental issues. Shipley also participates in government anti-terrorism training, corporate security and executive preparedness consulting. He sold Shipley Group in December 2012 just prior to being sworn in as a U.S. congressman representing Utah's 2nd congressional district.
Stewart first began writing books in the late nineties. His first novel, Shattered Bone, was published October 1, 1998. Stewart wrote four additional techno-thrillers before he began writing the series The Great and Terrible. Before completing his last book in that series, he started writing historical novels. His book Seven Miracles That Saved America was chosen as "Book of the Month", and The Miracle of Freedom: Seven Tipping Points That Saved the World became a New York Times Bestseller within two weeks of publication, and was selected for the National Communications Award by the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge. The Miracle of Freedom and Seven Miracles That Saved America were co-written with his brother, U.S. district judge Ted Stewart. The Miracle of Freedom was endorsed by radio/talk show host Glenn Beck, and Beck's coverage is credited with the book becoming a bestseller.
Stewart has written fourteen books, and has been chosen by the Book of the Month Club. His works have been published in twelve countries.
He has worked with Elizabeth Smart to co-write her memoir, My Story.
In 2005, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed A Christmas Bell for Anya, which he co-authored with his wife Evie.
On October 21, 2011, Utah Policy wrote that Stewart was going to run for Congress in Utah's 2nd congressional district. His formal announcement took place on December 6, 2011. On April 21, 2012, he secured the Republican nomination.
Stewart won the race with 62% of the vote, defeating Jay Seegmiller, and took office on January 3, 2013.
Stewart has sponsored 24 bills of his own, including:
Stewart cosponsored the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R. 2413) and sponsored the substitute amendment that replaced the text of the original legislation. Stewart said the bill "prioritizes protection of public safety and forward-looking weather research, improves procurement of observing system data from space, air, and land, and opens up NOAA's process to encourage private sector weather solutions."
Stewart is the sponsor of H.R. 1422, the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2014, which would reform the composition and activities of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) science advisory board. At least 10% of the members of the board would be required to be from state, local, or tribal governments. Corporate and industry experts would no longer be excluded from the board and board members would be prohibited from advising the EPA in discussions that cite their work. While the bill's supporters believe that it would increase transparency and balance in the EPA, critics argue that it "turns the idea of conflict of interest on its head" and would restrict scientists' ability to provide proper advice to the government.
In an interview regarding the Bundy standoff of April and May 2014, Stewart stated his opinion that the Bureau of Land Management could have avoided the standoff by allowing local sheriffs to intervene. Citing concerns about the level of weaponry carried by federal agents, he also sponsored a bill (H.R.4934) to demilitarize federal regulatory agencies.
In April 2015, Rep. Stewart and Rep. Rob Bishop, also of Utah and chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, announced the formation of the Federal Land Action Group (FLAG), "a congressional team that will develop a legislative framework for transferring public lands to local ownership and control." Rep. Stewart is chairman of the group; other members are Representatives Mark Amodei, Diane Black, Jeff Duncan, Cresent Hardy, Cynthia Lummis and Raul Labrador.
In Feb 2016, Rep. Stewart introduced the Zika Response and Safety Act, advocating for the House of Representatives to use leftover Ebola funding to research and combat the Zika Virus. In May 2016, the House of Representatives implemented Rep. Stewart's plan, by passing the Zika Response Appropriations Act, by shifting $622 Million in unused Ebola funding to fight the Zika Virus.
|Year||Republican||Votes||Pct||Democrat||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2012||Chris Stewart||154,523||62||Jay Seegmiller||83,176||33||Jonathan D. Garrard||Constitution||5,051||2||Joseph Andrade||Independent||2,971||1||Charles Kimball||Independent||2,824||1|
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