Jul 7, 2023 - News

Candidates emerge for Utah's 2nd Congressional District primary

Illustration of a row of voting booths casting long shadows, the side of the booth reads "VOTE" with a checkmark as the V.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

With less than two months until the special primary election, the slate of contenders for Utah's 2nd Congressional District seat is coming into focus.

Driving the news: This week was the deadline for potential candidates to submit the 7,000 signatures required to get on the primary ballot. The Utah Republican Party on Wednesday put forth Celeste Maloy as its convention nominee.

State of play: Becky Edwards, a former state lawmaker, and Bruce Hough, a GOP national committeeman, each said they submitted over 10,000 signatures, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. The signatures are being verified.

Catch up quick: Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) in May announced he was resigning from Congress because of his wife's ongoing health issues.

  • Stewart endorsed Maloy, former chief legal counsel at his congressional office, to be the successor to the reliably Republican seat.
  • In a stunning outcome, Maloy won delegates' support at the state Republican Party special convention last month, defeating former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes.

Yes, but: In a July 3 letter, state legislative leaders said Maloy wasn't registered to vote as a Republican before declaring her candidacy as Utah Republican Party bylaws require.

  • The letter suggested that Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who oversees Utah elections, did not follow state laws regarding elections by allowing Malloy on the ballot.
  • Last week, Henderson maintained that Maloy "met every lawful requirement and constitutional qualification" to run.

What we're watching: What further steps, if any, state lawmakers will take to challenge Maloy's candidacy.

What's next: The primary election is slated for Sept. 5 — more than a week before Stewart plans to step down.

  • The general election is set for Nov. 21.
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