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Former Utah Rep. Chris Cannon dies

By Katie McKellar - Utah News Dispatch | May 9, 2024

Craig Dilger, Daily Herald file photo

Chris Cannon speaks at the 2008 Utah Republican State Nomination Convention at the McKay Events Center on Saturday, May 10, 2008.

Former Utah Rep. Chris Cannon, who served in Congress for 12 years, has died.

Cannon died Wednesday at the age of 73, his brother confirmed to the Deseret News, KSL.com reported.

Cannon was a lawyer, business owner and venture capitalist, and would later become a millionaire. He represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District from 1997 to 2009. Cannon was first elected when he defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Bill Orton, who held the seat for three terms before losing to Cannon.

In 1999, Cannon served on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, when he was one of 13 House managers who prosecuted the case against then President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial in the Senate.

As news of Cannon’s death spread Thursday, dignitaries including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, posted on X that he was “stunned and saddened.”

“I will miss his insights, encouragement, and friendship,” Lee posted. “Sharon and I mourn with his wife, Claudia, along with the couple’s children and extended family, all of whom are in our prayers as we who knew him try to come to terms with this heartbreaking news.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said he and first lady Abby Cox were also “saddened” to hear about Cannon’s death.

“Congressman Cannon worked hard for the people of Utah, and was a dedicated public servant working on criminal justice, drug policy, regulatory reform and other issues during his time in the House of Representatives,” Cox posted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, now a Fox News contributor, also posted his condolences.

“God bless. I hope we all can thank him for his valiant, patriotic work fighting for the USA,” Chaffetz posted. “May blessings be with his family.”

Utah News Dispatch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news source covering government, policy and the issues most impacting the lives of Utahns.


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