Kwan elected to replace Mayne in Utah Senate

Jan 16, 2023, 5:27 PM | Updated: 9:45 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 — Utah Rep. Karen Kwan has been elected to replace Sen. Karen Mayne following her resignation.

According to a press release from the Utah Democratic Party, delegates in Senate District 12 met Sunday to hear from the eight candidates running in the special election. Voting, which was ranked-choice, opened later that night and remained open until 3 p.m. Monday.

After four rounds of counting, it was determined Kwan, D-Murray, had won.

Chair Diane Lewis released this statement following the results:

First of all, I’d like to thank every candidate who ran and every delegate who participated in this election, and congratulations to Senator-elect Kwan, who will be representing the people of Senate District 12 on the hill. While we are saddened by Senator Mayne’s resignation from the Senate, I am confident that Karen will continue her legacy of public service, and will fight just as hard for the west side as she did.

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Luz Escamilla also shared her thoughts:

I have known Senator-elect Karen Kwan since she began her career of legislative service in the Utah House of Representatives in 2017. The Senate Democrats eagerly welcome her policy expertise and thorough commitment to representing her constituents. Her effectiveness in the Legislature and eye for strategic partnerships to usher meaningful policy to support all Utahns will be a crucial addition to the Senate Minority Caucus. We are energized and ready to commence the 2023 General Session as a unified front for positive change. Congratulations, Senator-elect Kwan.

The House Democratic Caucus wrote:

We would like to express our sincerest congratulations to Senator-Elect Karen Kwan.

The House Minority caucus is sad to see the departure of Senator-Elect Kwan. We thank her for her years of dedicated service in the House, chiefly her commitment to education, working families, and economic development. We look forward to future collaboration.

Party officials said after Kwan is officially appointed to the Senate by Gov. Spencer Cox, a special election will be called to fill her House 31 seat.

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Kwan elected to replace Mayne in Utah Senate