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Sen. Shiozawa Resigns From Legislature To Serve As Trump Appointee

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Erik Neumann / KUER
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Brian Shiozawa who will now serve as the Regional Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs of District 8 in the Deptartment Of Health and Human Services.

State Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Salt Lake, announced his resignation on Monday to serve under the Trump administration. The former Utah emergency room doctor had been a leader on health legislation.

In a Facebook post, Shiozawa said he resigned after being sworn in as a western regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Though he will be representing Utah, Shiozawa will now be based out of Denver. In addition to quitting his role as a state senator, he will also step down from his job as an ER doctor at St. Mark’s Hospital.

Shiozawa was known as one of the more moderate senators. He brought a physician’s perspective to the impacts of health legislation and sponsored bills including research into the benefits of medical marijuana and insurance expansion for children with autism.

More recently, he sponsored a 2018 ballot initiative called Utah Decides Healthcare, which aims for full Medicaid expansion in the state.

Shiozawa’s resignation also prompted another announcement. Kathie Allen, the Democrat who lost the 3rd Congressional District race to John Curtis last month, says she will run for Shiozawa’s Senate seat when it becomes open in 2018.

The Salt Lake County Republican Party will nominate a replacement in the meantime. 

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