CD2 SPECIAL ELECTION

The race to replace Rep. Chris Stewart is anyone’s to win

Aug 30, 2023, 12:00 PM

becky edwards, bruce hough and celeste maloy are pictured, they are running to be the replacement f...

Utah's 2nd Congressional District GOP candidates: from left to right, Becky Edwards, Bruce Hough, Celeste Maloy. (Becky Edwards, Bruce Hough, LinkedIn, Celeste Maloy, Ballotpedia)

(Becky Edwards, Bruce Hough, LinkedIn, Celeste Maloy, Ballotpedia)

SALT LAKE CITY — For Becky Edwards, Celeste Maloy, and Bruce Hough, it’s getting down to the wire. They’re all running in the GOP Primary to replace Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, and so far, local political experts say they are stumped as to which Republican might win the primary.

KSL at Night hosts Derek Brown and Leah Murray agree that there is not a clear frontrunner between the three Republican candidates.

 

“It is so hard to tell because the undecideds are so high,” said Brown, who is the former chair of Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service.

Murray, a Weber State political scientist and director of Weber’s Walker Institute of Politics and Public Service, said the unexpected summer primary means the usual tools that are used to predict elections have been thrown out the window.

“I don’t know. It’s like a case study. Right? So instead of being able to know exactly what’s going to happen, it’s just this election,” said Murray.

“And after it’s over, I’ll be able to explain to you exactly what happened. But watching it and predicting, it’s really hard.”

Many Utahns say they are undecided on Chris Stewart replacement

Murray and Brown said the election is a toss-up, citing a high undecided rate.

“At this point, there isn’t much polling,” said Brown. “The polling that there is, from my view seems to be flawed and not really reliable. And so it really is anyone’s guess, which is what makes this election so interesting.”

Murray said with so many undecided voters, name recognition wins the day.

“Almost half [of voters] are saying that they are not sure. What that leads me to believe is, no one’s really made a perfectly persuasive argument,” said Murray.

With three Republican candidates in the race, the primary winner needs to take about 34% of the primary votes.

The Primary Election takes place on Sept. 5. 

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The race to replace Rep. Chris Stewart is anyone’s to win