Republican Celeste Maloy won a Utah special election Tuesday to replace her former boss, U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, in a race that will put a woman back among Utah´s five-member congressional delegation for the first time since 2019.
Maloy beat state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, who as minority whip is the Utah Senate´s second-ranking Democrat. In the GOP primary contest, she won the party nomination based on her support for Donald Trump, who, in 2020, carried the congressional district by 17 points.
Her victory gives House Republicans a 222-213 majority, giving Speaker Mike Johnson some breathing room as he faces a looming government spending fight.
'I think the fact that a girl from a teeny-tiny town with an unknown name and no budget can jump into a congressional race is a sign that the American Dream is alive and well,' said Maloy Tuesday night. 'And I hope other people see me, and realize that.'
Stewart resigned in September after 10 years in Congress because his wife is ill. Maloy was Stewart´s chief legal counsel. She had Stewart´s endorsement and that of former Utah U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, and was favored to win in the reliably Republican 2nd District, which sprawls from Salt Lake City to the state´s western and southern edges.
Maloy will be only the fifth woman in history to represent Utah in the U.S. House. The most recent was Mia Love, who served from 2015-2019 and was the state´s first Black congresswoman. Utah has never had a woman in the U.S. Senate.