Sep 6, 2023 - News

Maloy defeats Edwards in Utah's special GOP Congressional primary

Celeste Maloy Utah

Photo courtesy: Celeste Maloy

Celeste Maloy, former staffer for U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), narrowly won a GOP primary in a special election to fill Stewart's seat, per the Associated Press.

Driving the news: Maloy was ahead of Trump critic and former state Rep. Becky Edwards 38% to 35% when the AP called the three-way race Wednesday night.

  • Businessman Bruce Hough, father of celebrity dancers Julianne and Derek Hough, hovered at 27%.

What's next: The winner of the primary is favored to win November's special election in the predominantly-Republican district.

  • Maloy will face state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a Cottonwood Heights Democrat.

Catch up quick: Stewart in May announced plans to resign due to his wife's health. He leaves office Sept. 15.

Zoom in: Maloy, a Trump supporter, carried rural counties in the district, which stretches from southwest Davis County to Utah's southwest corner.

  • Edwards won in Davis County and Democrat-leaning Salt Lake County, which is split among Utah's four Congressional districts.
  • Maloy, a political unknown before she gained Stewart's endorsement, strategically utilized her connections in southern Utah and organized debates in most of the district's counties ahead of the primary.

What they're saying: Chelsea Robarge Fife, a campaign spokesperson for Edwards, told Axios Salt Lake City the former state representative called Maloy and conceded shortly after the most recent results were posted.

  • "We ran a campaign that engaged, inspired, and ignited passion, and for that, we are incredibly proud," Edwards said in a statement.
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