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HomeLocal NewsUtahUtah's 3 other representatives back Celeste Maloy's reelection bid over GOP challenger

Utah’s 3 other representatives back Celeste Maloy’s reelection bid over GOP challenger

SALT LAKE CITY — Three of Utah’s federal representatives have thrown their support behind incumbent Rep. Celeste Maloy as she tries to fend off a primary challenger who is backed by another powerful Utahn, Sen. Mike Lee.

Reps. John Curtis, Blake Moore and Burgess Owens — all colleagues of Maloy’s in the U.S. House of Representatives since she was elected last fall — issued their support for Maloy Thursday, calling her a “thoughtful, genuine champion of the people who live in the (2nd Congressional District).”

“We are proud to endorse Rep. Celeste Maloy as she fights for Utah’s values in Congress,” the trio said in a joint statement. “She has been a tremendous partner in our efforts to represent Utah’s interests, prioritize constituent service, tackle the reckless Biden agenda, and facilitate our state’s rapid economic growth.”

They cited Maloy’s positions on public lands, border security, religious freedom and gun rights.

“We are thankful to serve alongside such a bold, caring and passionate Utahn who is striving to make our state and country a better place for the next generation,” they added.

The endorsements from the three congressional Republicans pits all four representatives against Lee, who issued a surprise endorsement of the then-little known Colby Jenkins just days ahead of the GOP nominating convention in April.

“Too many Republicans in Congress have voted to expand the size, scope and cost of the federal government, in many cases deferring to congressional leaders bent on advancing the Democrats’ agenda,” Lee said at the time.

Lee’s endorsement of Jenkins came after Maloy voted for government spending bills and an extension of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — both of which the senator was adamantly opposed to.

Maloy’s voting record was a key issue in Monday’s debate between Jenkins and Maloy, with Jenkins repeatedly attempting to paint the congresswoman as “ceding” to Democrats in Congress. Jenkins offered few specifics of his own when asked, instead slamming Maloy for the votes she had taken.

Maloy called her challenger “naive” in response, and said the bills had been negotiated by U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson. She also noted the GOP holds a narrow majority in the House, and Democrats control the Senate and White House.

“When you have a really narrow margin,” she said, “it requires taking really tough votes.”

Jenkins defeated Maloy at convention, but Maloy won a large enough share of the vote to qualify for the June 25 primary. The winner will face Democrat Nathaniel Woodward and Constitution Party candidate Cassie Easley in November.

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