Utah Rep. Karen Kwan announces bid to fill Senate seat vacated by Karen Mayne

Jan 5, 2023, 3:48 PM
Karen Kwan speaks at a microphone...
Karen Kwan, then an associate professor of psychology at Salt Lake Community College, and a now running for House of Representatives District 34, speaks during a roundtable discussion about hate crimes at the Utah Law and Justice Center in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. (Spenser Heaps / Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps / Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic Rep. Karen Kwan has announced she will run to fill the Utah Senate seat vacated by Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, who announced her retirement on Wednesday.

Mayne, the Senate minority whip, will resign Jan. 16, following her cancer diagnosis last year.

“I wish Sen. Mayne a full and speedy recovery,” Kwan, who represents Murray, said in a statement. “After deep reflection, I have decided that I will seek to fill Sen. Mayne’s … seat. I have been honored to serve the families in our district for the past six years. During my time in the Legislature, I have built strong relationships with members on both sides of the aisle while advocating for Utah’s working families and look forward to continuing Sen. Mayne’s legacy of bipartisanship and effective legislation.”

According to Utah law, party delegates within a district vote in a special election to recommend replacements for lawmakers who retire. The recommendations are then sent to the governor who officially appoints someone to fill the seat.

Kwan said it is anticipated that delegates will vote on Jan. 15, but an official date has not been announced by the party.

“While I know these are big shoes to fill, I believe I am ready to step up on day one to deliver for the constituents of this district,” Kwan said. “I am looking forward to hearing from the delegates during this process to ensure they are best represented during the upcoming legislative session and beyond.”

The 2023 general session of the Utah Legislature begins Jan. 17.

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Utah Rep. Karen Kwan announces bid to fill Senate seat vacated by Karen Mayne