Nov. 7, 2012 – 9:21 p.m.

113th Congress: Chris Stewart, R-Utah (2nd District)

Chris Stewart will arrive in January with an unusually colorful background.

A former Air Force pilot, Stewart flew with the team that set the world record for the fastest non-stop flight around the world. He was the senior project officer for the flight, which involved two B-1 bombers and lasted 36 hours and 13 minutes.

After retiring from the Air Force, Stewart began writing novels and has since authored 14 books. Radio and television host Glenn Beck helped catapult “The Miracle of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World,” to the New York Times best-seller list.

His bid for Congress was his first foray into politics. Stewart said he couldn’t “stand on the sidelines” any longer because the United States is facing a “financial tipping point.”

“My primary focus, I think initially, is on the financial health of our country — controlling our debt, controlling our spending. I love entitlement reform,” Stewart says.

Although he recognizes that plum committee assignments are difficult for freshman lawmakers to obtain, he said the Energy and Commerce Committee would be a good fit given his business background.

“Energy policy, I think, is the dark horse in this conversation right now because it has the potential of changing the conversation. It has the potential of changing the world in a very positive way,” Stewart says.

The Armed Services Committee might be a more likely landing spot for the Air Force veteran.