GOP delegates elect Celeste Maloy to ballot for CD2 special election

Jun 24, 2023, 8:05 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2023, 11:29 pm

an auditorium of GOP delegates pictured...

(Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio)

(Lindsay Aerts/KSL NewsRadio)

DELTA, Utah — In an unexpected twist, delegates in Utah’s Second Congressional District elected Celeste Maloy to the primary special election ballot on Sept. 5, 2023.

“I’m feeling like a million bucks,” Maloy told KSL NewsRadio right after the vote. “This is still surreal I haven’t really had time to think it through yet, but I’m excited.”

Maloy becomes the first person to qualify for the ballot to replace Congressman Chris Stewart, R-Utah. A Republican primary will be held so long as any one of the five candidates who’ve elected to gather signatures qualify by July 5. 

Maloy won in five rounds of voting to earn the delegate vote at the Utah Republican Party’s special convention Saturday.

The nail-biter came down to Maloy and Greg Hughes in the final round of voting. After Jordan Hess was eliminated, he joined Maloy on stage to endorse her to loud cheers from delegates. 

It was a turning point in the convention because Maloy was trailing Hughes ahead of the final round of voting and Hess’ votes put Maloy over the top.  

Hughes told KSL NewsRadio he’s obviously disappointed, but doesn’t regret putting his faith in the delegate vote. 

“I walked in here feeling pretty liberated that whatever the delegates decide, I’m actually comfortable with it,” he said. “They spoke, and I didn’t get signatures for a reason.”

The convention started with six-minute speeches from each of the 11 candidates. Party Chair Robert Axson announced that one candidate, Ty Jensen, withdrew due to work commitments. 

The top vote-getters in each of the rounds were Greg Hughes, Celeste Maloy, and Jordan Hess. 

The first person eliminated was Scott Hatfield in round one, followed by Bruce Hough and Kathleen Anderson, then Henry Eyring and Jordan Hess who were eliminated in the following round.

Candidates Scott Reber, Quinn Denning, and Bill Hester chose to bow out and endorse other candidates when they knew they couldn’t pull the votes.

Five of the Republican candidates have indicated via their candidate filings that they are gathering signatures, Becky Edwards, Bruce Hough, Scott Reber, and Scott Hatfield.

One other candidate, Remy Bubba Kush became a signature-only candidate when he was disqualified from the convention route for not filling out the party’s proper paperwork.

The primary election is Sept. 5, and the general election and special election to replace Stewart are slated for Nov. 21.

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GOP delegates elect Celeste Maloy to ballot for CD2 special election