Celeste Maloy Wins Republican Nomination For Utah House Seat’s Special Election

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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Former Republican House staffer Celeste Maloy won the primary contest to be the Republican nominee for a special election to the U.S. House of Representatives in November after defeating several candidates Wednesday.

Maloy, an attorney, ran in a three-way race to replace her boss Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, who is resigning due to his wife’s “health concerns.” She defeated two other candidates — Bruce Hough, a Republican National committeeman, and Becky Edwards, a former Utah state representative — with 38.3% of the vote as of 8:00 PM Eastern Time, according to The Washington Post. (RELATED: Third-Party Group Clinches Ballot Access In 10 States)

Maloy ran on a platform of securing the U.S. border with Mexico, religious freedom, cutting public spending to reduce inflation and protecting the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, according to her campaign website. She had worked at the House of Representatives for over four years as counsel to Stewart, according to her LinkedIn profile, with Stewart endorsing her campaign.

“She is a strong conservative woman with Utah values and the one person in the race I know for certain is ready to serve on day one,” Stewart wrote in a testimonial on her campaign website. Maloy was also endorsed by former Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah as well as dozens of state legislators and county commissioners in the district, which spans nearly the entire western half of the state.

The counting of votes in the district had continued for over 24 hours after the polls closed at 8:00 PM Mountain Time on Tuesday, with disparate voting locations across the state reporting their results into Wednesday.

Utah has a record of electing critics of former President Donald Trump to Congress, even as it has voted for him in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. In 2018, voters elected former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts — the party’s 2012 presidential nominee — to the Senate, where he has since become one of Trump’s biggest Republican critics in the chamber.

Maloy, according to her website, has not taken a clear position on whether she supports Trump’s candidacy for the presidency in 2024. Trump received approximately 56% of the vote in 2020 Utah’s second congressional district, which the Cook Partisan Voting Index rates as solidly Republican.

Maloy had not been favored to win the primary, according to a Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll published on Aug. 27, which showed her trailing Edwards. Maloy will now face the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, in the general election on Nov. 21.

“Utahns want nothing to do with extreme Democrats’ dangerous agenda causing historic inflation and a violent crime wave. Utah voters will overwhelmingly send Celeste to Congress on November 21,” said Republican Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Maloy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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