Chris Stewart endorses chief legal staffer Celeste Maloy to fill his House seat

Jun 20, 2023, 3:23 PM

Rep. Chris Stewart speaks...

Republicans will hold a special convention Saturday to pick a nominee for Rep. Chris Stewart’s congressional seat. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Congressman Chris Stewart has thrown his support behind Celeste Maloy in the special election race to replace him in Congress when he resigns later this year.

Maloy, who serves as chief legal counsel for Stewart’s office, announced the endorsement in a news release Tuesday, calling the outgoing congressman a “tireless fighter for our district, our people and our conservative values.”

“I’ve seen it firsthand working as his chief legal counsel,” she said. “I am running for Congress because I know we have big shoes to fill when he departs Congress. I am humbled and honored to have his support as I seek the votes of Republican delegates at our convention this Saturday.”

Stewart’s endorsement for his successor comes ahead of the first of two Republican debates, which will be held at Woods Cross High School at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The second will be held Thursday at Dixie Technical College in St. George. GOP delegates will meet in Delta on Saturday to select a candidate.

Thirteen Republicans are running, although several have opted to collect signatures to appear in a Sept. 5 party primary and forgo the convention process.

Stewart will resign Sept. 15, due to his wife’s ongoing health issues.

“I made the decision to step down from Congress in the best interest of my family,” Stewart said in a statement Tuesday. “Today, I couldn’t be more proud to make this decision in the best interest of Utah: I enthusiastically and wholeheartedly endorse Celeste Maloy for Congress.”

He said two things are necessary to serve in Congress: humility to listen to constituents and the courage to make hard decisions on their behalf.

“Those pillars of service and leadership describe Celeste Maloy to her core,” he said. “She is a strong conservative woman with Utah values and the one person in the race I know for certain is ready to serve on day one.”

Maloy graduated from Southern Utah University’s School of Agriculture and went on to earn a law degree from Brigham Young University. She has previously worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beaver and as a deputy county attorney for Washington County.

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Chris Stewart endorses chief legal staffer Celeste Maloy to fill his House seat