Celeste Maloy is the newest member of Congress, after the Republican candidate took down her Democratic challenger Kathleen Riebe in Tuesday’s special election.
The election was held to fill the empty congressional seat in Utah that was vacant after Republican Representative Chris Stewart resigned.
In the second congressional district in Utah, Maloy captured 57% of the total vote. She won in every county except for one.
Maloy worked in the past as an attorney for Stewart, and as such, she knows a thing or two about politics. She referenced that in her victory speech when she said:
“I want everybody in the second district to know that I really do want to be their representative . I want them to know me, I want them to know how to get a hold of me, and I want them to say, ‘That’s my representative, and I know she cares about the things that are happening in my town.’”
Not long after the election concluded, Maloy spoke with media outlet Politico, telling them that Republicans have to focus on specific issues such as the overreach of government and inflation if they want to consistently win elections nowadays.
“I hope Republicans learn that you can still win running on the issues. I think that’s a message that we should be using more nationally. We should be talking about core conservative values. The issues that divide Republicans shouldn’t be at the center of all of our campaigns.”
The general election for Maloy wasn’t the difficult one, as Utah is a heavily-conservative state. The bigger challenge was emerging as the Republican candidate in the race.
Back in June, Maloy took down Greg Hughes, the former Speaker of the Utah state House, to receive the GOP nomination for the position. One big boost to her campaign at the time was receiving Stewart’s endorsement. She then took down Becky Edwards, an anti-Trump candidate, in September’s GOP primary.
Stewart stepped down from Congress so that he could help his wife, who is sick.
Maloy sparked a positive tone when she was speaking about her future time in Congress, saying:
“I know Congress is a bit of a mess right now, and I feel like I can go and be helpful, and be a good, solid member who is even keeled and low drama.”
After it was obvious that she would not be able to win the special election, Riebe conceded the position to Maloy Tuesday night. In doing so, she thanked everyone who supported her in the race.
“The voters of the second district have made their decision. I just spoke to Representative-elect Maloy and wished her the best. I look forward to her advocacy on behalf of our state at the national level, and the pressing issues of water, affordable housing and sustainable growth that face all Utahns.”
In winning the special election, Maloy will serve out the remainder of Stewart’s unexpired term. She will then have to run for re-election if she wants a full term of her own on Congress.