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Rep. Chris Stewart
Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, arrives for the House Republican Conference caucus meeting at the Capitol on June 13, 2023. Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images file

Former Chris Stewart staffer wins GOP convention nod for Utah special

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, is stepping down from Congress due to family health concerns.

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Utah Republicans tapped Celeste Maloy, a former staffer for GOP Rep. Chris Stewart, as their pick to replace the congressman when he resigns in September.

Stewart announced last month that he would step down from Congress due to his wife's "health concerns." A special election has been set for Nov. 21, with a primary on Sept. 5. But unless another candidate qualifies for the primary ballot by collecting the necessary signatures, Maloy will the be GOP nominee.

Maloy won the nomination at the district convention over the weekend, defeating former state House Speaker Greg Hughes after five rounds of voting, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The Tribune noted that Maloy would be the state's first member of Congress from southern Utah if she is elected.

The 2nd District, which covers much of the southwest portion of the state, is expected to remain in Republican hands. Former President Donald Trump carried the seat by 17 percentage points in 2020, according to calculations from Daily Kos Elections. And Stewart won a sixth term in 2022 by 26 points.