Utah Special Election: Conservative Wave Sweeps State as Pro-Trump Candidate Claims Victory

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Republican Celeste Maloy beat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a self-described moderate, to win Utah’s special election Tuesday night, filling the last remaining open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Associated Press announced the race at 8 p.m. local.

The resignation of the former Republican Rep. Chris Stewart in September, due to an unspecified illness in his wife, triggered the election in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

Maloy won the three-way primaries that month. He was Stewart’s top legal advisor in Congress.

Maloy, as a candidate for the seat, touted her roots in rural southern Utah. The district includes a large portion of that area. She has also leaned on her support of former president Donald Trump by arguing that the many ongoing prosecutions of him are politically motivated.

It’s exciting to know that someone will emerge from this primary who represents rural and Southern Utah. “I think it’s about time, and everyone is ready for it,” Maloy stated following her primary victory.

Riebe, however, has argued that the race is a pickup chance for Democrats and has leaned heavily on her experience as a teacher to make the case that the people in the district are “ready for a new change.”

Riebe, in an August interview with Deseret News, expressed his concern about the rising national debt and pledged to join the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition if he were elected.

She told the outlet that “coming to a very reasonable decision and having moderate ideas is what I think serves us best.”

Maloy has a strong chance of winning the special election, given Stewart’s double-digit margins of victory over the past six elections in which he was the Republican candidate for the district. This dates back to 2012.

The Republicans will have some additional cushion if they win a close vote.