Former GOP Congressional Aide Celeste Maloy Wins Utah House Seat – Utah’s newest congressional member will be Celeste Maloy, a Republican, restoring the House to its complete roster of 435 members. Maloy secured victory in the special election for Utah’s 2nd District on Tuesday, triumphing over Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Riebe and several third-party contenders following the departure of former GOP Rep. Chris Stewart earlier this year, as reported by The Associated Press.
In the competitive September primary, Celeste Maloy, a former congressional aide to Stewart, emerged victorious over other prominent contenders, even though she was not widely recognized by voters. Throughout her campaign, Maloy relied on her grassroots ties in rural southern Utah and drew on her Washington experience. Maloy’s victory in the general election was expected, given the composition of the district.
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UT-02 encompasses areas of Democratic-leaning Salt Lake City along with extensive rural regions in the southern and western parts of the state. The district, won by then-President Donald Trump with a double-digit margin in 2020, reflects a diverse political landscape. Maloy said her messaging emphasized curbing inflation and government overreach, and she avoided “red-meat issues that people get wound up about.”
“I hope Republicans learn that you can still win running on the issues,” she said in an interview with a news outlet prior to her win. “I think that’s a message that we should be using more nationally. We should be talking about core conservative values. The issues that divide Republicans shouldn’t be the center of all of our campaigns.”
Facing controversy, Maloy successfully navigated attempts by opponents to remove her from the primary ballot when it was revealed that she wasn’t registered as a Republican in Utah when filing for the seat. Her upcoming role makes her the first woman in Utah’s congressional delegation since 2019 and the fifth in the state’s history.