SALT LAKE CITY — Rob Bishop, the former 1st District U.S. representative, has stepped down from the independent body tasked with helping redraw the political boundaries around Utah, according to Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson.
Wilson, a Kaysville Republican, alluded to his departure in a statement Monday, expressing sympathy with Bishop’s apparent frustrations on the body. The Utah House member also said Bishop’s move is proof that lawmakers are better equipped to manage the potentially charged task of redistricting.
“I share his frustrations with how the commission has conducted its business,” Wilson said in a statement. “His decision to step down at this point in the process is further evidence that the duly elected representatives of the people are best suited to redraw district boundaries, as the courts have repeatedly affirmed.”
Reps from the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission, or UIRC, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment late Monday afternoon. Bishop, a Republican from Brigham City who represented Weber County and the rest of Northern Utah in the U.S. House for nine terms, was one of seven members on the appointed, bipartisan body.
The UIRC was formed after passage in 2018 of Proposition 4, a referendum put to Utah voters and touted by proponents as a check against possible gerrymandering during the redistricting process. The commission’s role is to draw up proposals for redistricting using new 2020 U.S. Census Bureau population figures and provide them to the Utah Legislative Redistricting Committee by Nov. 1 — one week away.
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