Utah’s 2nd Congressional District Republican candidates gear up for final push

Sep 1, 2023, 5:00 AM | Updated: 9:45 am

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 — The three Republican candidates running to replace Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, will spend the final weekend before primary election day trying to win over undecided voters.

Celeste Maloy, Bruce Hough and Becky Edwards have their work cut out for them to get voters to make a decision — and then, turn out to vote. 

Everything you need to know about the Race to Replace Rep. Chris Stewart

As of Friday morning, Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said turnout in the race was about 24% — with Davis County reporting a higher turnout at 32.7% and Iron County coming in under the overall turnout at 17.5%.

That’s a slight uptick from earlier in the week.

Also earlier this week, a Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll put undecided voters at a whopping 47%. 

Will rural Utah be the deciding factor?

With three candidates in the race, each needs to pull a little over 30% support to eke out a space on top.

Celeste Maloy believes rural Utah will swing the race, despite the fact the majority of the registered Republicans live in Salt Lake, Davis, and Washington Counties.

“The 20% of the district that’s rural is going to be the deciding factor,” she said. 

What to know about Utah’s primary election

She thinks the three candidates will split that urban vote.

“It’s not outside the possibilities to have a 30-30-30 split in the three [most populated] counties, and the 20% of the district that’s rural is going to be the deciding factor,” she said.

Utah Republican candidates meeting face-to-face

Hough said he plans to talk to as many voters as possible in the final days of the campaign.

“I find that when we have [a] conversation, or I’m in front of people, we have a very, very high conversion rate,” he said.

He believed the vote would come down to more of a combination of the urban and rural voters.

“There’s going to be areas where different candidates are pretty strong… I think we have very broad support from throughout the entire district,” he said.

Becky Edwards’ campaign did not respond to requests for an interview by the time of this writing. A spokesperson said she’s visited every county over the last two weeks and has volunteers making calls and texts.

“We have over 1,000 volunteers who have been making phone calls, knocking on doors, telling voters, responding to emails, and encouraging people to return their ballots by Sept. 5th,” said Senior Director of Communications, Chelsea Robarge Fife via text. 

“[Getting out the vote] is the entire focus of our campaign right now,” Robarge Fife said. 

We want to hear from you.

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Utah’s 2nd Congressional District Republican candidates gear up for final push