Pro Trump Candidate Wins Special Election In Utah

( – Utah Republican Celeste Maloy is set to become the newest member of Congress, securing victory in the special election held in Utah’s 2nd District. Formerly represented by GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, the seat was vacated earlier this year. Maloy, Stewart’s former congressional aide, emerged triumphant in the September primary, prevailing over the other contenders. Despite being relatively unknown, she relied on her local connections in rural southern Utah and her Washington experiences as an aide to win the primary.

In the general election, Maloy faced Democratic state Senator Kathleen Riebe and several third-party candidates, securing a decisive win. The composition of Utah’s 2nd District, covering both Democratic-leaning Salt Lake City and extensive rural areas, contributed to her victory. In 2020, the district favored then-President Donald Trump by a significant margin during the elections.

During her campaign, Maloy focused on curbing inflation and government overreach, steering clear of contentious issues. In an interview with POLITICO prior to her win, she emphasized the importance of Republicans winning on the basis of issues and core conservative values, suggesting a national strategy shift. Congress members more supportive of Trump may prove to be a problem for Biden’s re-election, especially since the Biden campaign seems to latch onto being “Anti-MAGA” as its draw for voters.

Despite a controversial attempt to remove her from the primary ballot due to her not being registered as a Republican when filing for the seat, Maloy emerged victorious. Her win makes her the first woman in Utah’s congressional delegation since 2019, and the fifth in the state’s history. Maloy, previously residing in Virginia while working for Stewart, defended her credibility during the lawsuit challenging her eligibility, citing issues with her Utah voter registration. Maloy’s registration was marked inactive due to her not voting in the 2020 and 2022 federal elections in Utah. However, she updated her Republican voter registration a day after the special election filing deadline, securing her place in Congress.

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