Sep 6, 2023 - News

Early results: Utah's special GOP congressional primary too close to call

Becky Edwards (left) and Celeste Maloy (right). Photo courtesy: Busath Photography; Celeste Maloy

Celeste Maloy, a former congressional staffer, held a thin lead over former state Rep. Becky Edwards in Tuesday night's special GOP primary to fill Rep. Chris Stewart's seat in Utah's 2nd Congressional District, according to the state's preliminary election results.

State of play: Maloy received about 37.8% of votes — 1,184 more votes than Edwards — as of Tuesday at 11pm.

  • Edwards, who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 and is a vocal critic of former President Trump, had collected about 36.1% of the votes, while businessman Bruce Hough got 26%.
  • Maloy dominated rural counties, including Garfield, Iron, Kane, Millard, Tooele and Washington, while Edwards held leads in Salt Lake and Davis counties.

What to watch: The GOP primary winner will advance to the special general election on Nov. 21.

  • They will face state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a Cottonwood Heights Democrat, for the safe Republican seat.

Catch up quick: In May, Stewart — who was elected to Congress in 2012 — announced plans to resign due to his wife's health concerns, triggering the special election. Stewart's last day in office is Sept. 15.

  • Maloy won the GOP delegates' support at a nominating convention in June, beating out former Utah House Speaker Greg Hughes and other contenders.
  • Edwards and Hough qualified to appear on the primary ballot through the signature-gathering process.

By the numbers: Edwards raised approximately $370,000 in individual campaign contributions, Federal Election Commission filings through Aug. 16 show.

  • She also loaned her campaign $300,000.
  • Maloy raised about $250,000 in individual contributions.

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