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Republican wins Utah special election, bolsters GOP numbers before 2024 battle

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The 2nd Congressional District of Utah will stay Republican.

Celeste Maloy defeated Democrat Kathleen Riebe in a special election to replace U.S. Representative Chris Stewart, R-Utah, in the district on Tuesday, November 21.

Maloy led Riebe by a count of 77,120 to 45,352 Wednesday morning. Election results will be certified next month.

Maloy served as Stewart’s district chief counsel from March 2019 to June 2023 in Washington, D.C. She resigned from her post to enter the race to replace Stewart and earned his endorsement in the Republican primary.

Her opponent, Riebe, is the minority whip for the Utah Senate. She has been a member of the Utah Senate since 2019 and ran unopposed for her party’s nomination at its convention.

Maloy was the expected winner going into election day; Cook Political Report labels the district as R+11 in its Partisan Voting Index, meaning it votes 11 points more Republican than the average congressional district in the country.

Stewart announced in late May that he planned to resign from Congress after six terms to care for his wife, who suffers from health issues. Stewart formally resigned on September 15; the seat he represented has since been vacant for slightly over two months.

Following this race, the U.S. House of Representatives will now have 222 Republicans and 213 Democrats. It gives the Republican party a slim majority headed into 2024, an election year where the party will try to defend several seats in Democratic-leaning districts to maintain its majority.

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