Pro-Trump Republican wins last special election for U.S. House vacancy

Republican Celeste Maloy emerged victorious in Utah’s special election, securing the last vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, a self-declared moderate.

The election, held in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District, was triggered by the departure of former Republican Rep. Chris Stewart in September, who resigned due to his wife’s unspecified illness. Maloy, who previously served as Stewart’s chief legal counsel, clinched the victory in a three-way primary election.

Maloy, emphasizing her rural southern Utah upbringing, a significant portion of the district, aligned herself with President Donald Trump and argued that the ongoing prosecutions against him are politically motivated.

Following her primary win, Maloy expressed excitement about representing rural and southern Utah, stating, “I think it’s time for that, and everybody’s ready for it.”

In contrast, Riebe saw the race as a Democratic pickup opportunity and highlighted her experience as a school teacher, asserting that the district was ready for a change.

Expressing concern about the nation’s rising debt, Riebe vowed to join the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition if elected, emphasizing rational decision-making and moderate ideas.

Maloy, given Stewart’s substantial margin of victory in past elections, is considered the frontrunner in the special election. A Republican win provides the party with added support for close votes. The election was called by the Associated Press at 8:36 p.m. local time.

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