Celeste Maloy, a Republican candidate, emerges victorious in the special election for Utah’s 435th congressional seat.

Celeste Maloy, a Republican, has emerged victorious in a special election in Utah to take over the seat previously held by U.S. Representative Chris Stewart. This win marks the return of a woman to Utah’s five-member congressional delegation, ending a dry spell since 2019.

Maloy defeated Kathleen Riebe, the second-highest ranking Democrat in the Utah Senate, who serves as minority whip.

Stewart stepped down from his position in September after serving 10 years in Congress due to his wife’s illness.

David Cicilline, a Representative from Rhode Island, officially stepped down from his position on June 1. In a special election held on November 7, Democrat Gabe Amo was elected to fill the vacant seat.

Maloy, originally from southern Nevada but currently living in the southwestern part of Utah, was highly favored to win in the 2nd congressional district, which covers a large area from southern and western Utah to Salt Lake City. She will now be one of the four Republican representatives in the state’s House of Representatives. Both of the state’s senators are also members of the Republican party.

Maloy’s platform focused on bolstering border security between the United States and Mexico, keeping federal spending in check, safeguarding religious liberties, and giving Utah greater authority over its federally-owned natural resources.

During a debate on Oct. 26, she emphasized her previous work experience with Stewart.

During the debate, Maloy stated that they have been employed in this region, addressing concerns that residents have brought to their congressman for assistance. They emphasized the current difficulties faced by Congress and the importance of having someone familiar with its workings in the state.

A person from Long Island who resides in the town of Cottonwood Heights, Salt Lake City, Riebe focused her campaign on her experience as an educator. She stated on her website that she plans to keep teaching five days a week while running for office, and aims to address issues such as affordable housing, advocating for labor unions, and promoting public education that prioritizes student needs and community values.

During the debate with Maloy, Riebe stated that he is deeply connected with his family members throughout the state. He has been actively striving to comprehend the ways in which our policies affect their personal lives.

Maloy was the top fundraiser, collecting nearly $600,000 and using over 75% of that money during the seven months leading up to the election. Riebe raised half of that amount and used around 90%, as reported by the Federal Election Commission.

The most recent female representative from Utah in the United States House of Representatives was Mia Love, who held the position from 2015 to 2019 and became the state’s first African American congresswoman.

A former congressman and veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Stewart sparked a frenzy among Republicans to find a replacement for his position when he revealed in May that he would be stepping down to care for his sick spouse.

Maloy won the Republican special primary on Sept. 5, defeating Becky Edwards and Bruce Hough with strong support from rural areas.

The Democratic convention did not hold a primary election as Riebe received the most votes and was unopposed for her party’s nomination.

Source: cbsnews.com