2nd Congressional District candidate Celeste Maloy in 8 questions

Aug 25, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: Aug 27, 2023, 7:57 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — A staffer for current Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, Celeste Maloy was chosen by the Utah Republican Party as its nominee to replace Stewart as he leaves office. And on Sept. 5, she’ll find out if she gets to stay on the ballot until November. 

KSL NewsRadio caught up with Maloy to ask eight burning questions asked of all the candidates on the ballot. A transcript of their full interview follows.

Celeste Maloy’s stance on military

Kira Hoffelmeyer: What do you think are the interests of Utah’s military bases and military members that need protecting?

Celeste Maloy: I haven’t served in the military, but my brothers have, my grandpa has, and I have uncles who did. I come from a very military family.

I think we need military bases that are efficient and focused on military readiness. Anything else within the military is a distraction.

And if we want peace in the world, we have to have a strong military.

From the beginning, I’ve said I want to be on the House Armed Services Committee. And the reason is that I think that’s really important to Utah, we have Hill Air Force Base, and we have other important installations, several of them in the second district.

And we have a lot of private industry that’s dependent on those (Department of Defense) installations. And we need somebody in Utah who’s keeping an eye on them.

Celeste Maloy‘s stance on public lands

Kira Hoffelmeyer: How would you work with the feds when it comes to protecting Utah’s best interests when it comes to these public lands?

Celeste Maloy: So this is what I’ve been doing most of my adult life. Public lands is my area of expertise, along with water. So I have a lot of experience working with the land management agencies. One of the things that I would like to do as a member of Congress, is review the authority that the agencies have, compare it to what they’re doing, and defund anything they’re doing this outside of their authority.

I think that really helps the relationship between state and the federal land management agencies. We need more state involvement and less agency overreach.

What I really love is to see is for Utah to have title to the land. But until that happens, management’s really important.

Celeste Maloy and the shutdown showdown

Kira Hoffelmeyer: What do you have to say about the state of the economy, inflation, financing, and government, all that jazz?

Celeste Maloy: Every time somebody asked me what my top priorities are, I say inflation spending and government overreach. I think they’re actually all government overreach problems.

The government has made inflation worse by pumping a lot of federal dollars into the economy. But also by executive orders that have made us so we’re not energy independent anymore.

That drives up the price of energy. I think it’s up 24% during this administration, and when energy prices are up, food prices are up, and building prices are up and shipping prices are up.

So the federal government being involved in things that (it) shouldn’t be doing or changing directions is one of the root causes of inflation.

I would address that by addressing the overreach.

And then we’ve got to get our spending under control. I’m willing to vote for any bill that’s moving us in the right direction. But we’ve got to be cutting back our spending.

Celeste Maloy on where Congress and SCOTUS meet

Kira Hoffelmeyer: What do you see is the role of Congress, or a member of Congress, in what has happened in the Supreme Court in the last little while?

Celeste Maloy: We separate branches of government, and they have their own functions, and there’s only so much Congress can do.

In the Supreme Court space, one of the things that Congress can and should do is pass better bills that are written so that the agencies implementing them know what it is Congress wants them to do.

What keeps happening is Congress writes a vague bill, it goes to the executive branch, they interpret it, they write rules, they enforce it, and then somebody sues, and then the court ends up saying what the bill meant.

We could avoid that if Congress was more clear in the first place with how we write bills.

But the other thing that I think has been interesting lately with the Supreme Court is that the court seems to be almost daring Congress to do a better job.

When the court (is) signaling that it doesn’t want to be as deferential to agencies, it seems to be constantly calling on the legislative branch to do a better job and not give the agencies as much leeway, which is also what I want to do.

Because I think there’s a good alignment of interests here where we can maybe actually rein in some of this federal overreach.

Celeste Maloy on running for re-election

Kira Hoffelmeyer: If you’re elected, you’ll barely be in office, by the time you have to file to rerun. How are you feeling about that? And will you refile?

Celeste Maloy: I will absolutely refile. I think it’s wasting the constituents’ time to run for half of a Congress and then not run again.

I am aware of the timeline. I’ve known that since I got into this race.

It turns out, I’ve never campaigned before, but now that I’m doing it, I actually like standing in front of people talking about policy and answering questions.

So I’m looking forward to doing it again. I think it will be a lot different the next time around, because I can talk about the things that I’ve done as a member of Congress, instead of the things that I’ve done as a staffer.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity.

Celeste Maloy on some silly questions

Kira Hoffelmeyer: Utah or BYU?

Celeste Maloy: I went to law school at BYU. So between those two schools, I definitely have to choose BYU, but my first love is always going to be Southern Utah University.

Hoffelmeyer? Okay Celeste, so are they sun bears? Or are they humans in costume?

Maloy: I’ve never seen a Sun Bear before, but that definitely didn’t look like anything I’ve seen in nature.

What it reminded me of is those old Disney cartoons about the national parks and the bears that talk and pick up trash.

But I think I’m gonna have to go with human and costume because that doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen that occurs in nature.

Hoffelmeyer: If the FBI were to do a background check or the security check or something and they found something silly… what would it be?

Maloy: I think that they’d be shocked at how much cottage cheese I buy.

It’s one of my favorite snacks. I got this from my grandma. She’s 90 years old, it’s her go-to. I like to eat cottage cheese with potato chips, and a lot of people think that’s really strange, but I eat it fairly often.

This is part of a collection of questions asked to all candidates running in the 2nd Congressional District special election before the Sept. 5, 2023, primary election. See below for the interviews of the other candidates.

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2nd Congressional District candidate Celeste Maloy in 8 questions