SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Less than 24 hours after polls closed across the state for the U.S. 2nd Congressional District Republican primary, Celeste Maloy claimed victory as she tries to get elected to her boss’ seat.

Republican nominee Maloy beat out two party challengers for Rep. Chris Stewart’s seat after he announced his retirement earlier this year to spend more time with his wife, who is suffering from health problems. Maloy will now advance to the Nov. 21 general election against Democratic opponent Kathleen Riebe.

Preliminary results on Tuesday night showed an early lead for candidate Becky Edwards, who got on the primary ballot through a signature drive. However, as results from Southern Utah began coming in later in the evening — especially from Washington County — the numbers began to shift in Maloy’s favor.

Maloy and Edwards ended the night at about 1,400 votes apart. While Edwards led in Davis and Salt Lake counties, Maloy claimed leads in the 11 other counties in the district. By 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Maloy’s lead had climbed to about 2,400 votes.

Bruce Hough, who also joined the ballot the same way as Edwards, did not place higher than second place in any county in the district.

Full results will likely not be known until Thursday or Friday, but shortly before 6 p.m. tonight, the Associated Press called the race for Maloy. Around 10 minutes later, Edwards conceded on social media., noting that even though many votes are yet to be counted, she could not see a path to victory.

“As our campaign comes to a close, we want to extend our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you,” stated Edwards. “Your unwavering dedication and tireless efforts have been the driving force behind this remarkable journey. We ran a campaign that engaged, inspired, and ignited passion, and for that, we are incredibly proud. While this chapter may be ending, the unity and commitment we’ve witnessed will continue to shape our future. Thank you for being part of something truly special.”

At around 7 p.m. or so, Maloy released the following statement:

I am both humbled and honored to receive this vote of confidence from Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

The past three months have been nothing short of incredible, and I couldn’t have done it without my family, an amazing campaign team, and the support of leaders like Congressman Chris Stewart.

I respect anyone who is willing to throw their hat into the arena and run for office.

During the next three months, I will work just as hard as I have in this primary to unify our party and ensure a Republican win in November.

As I’ve said throughout this race, I will represent the entire district. There will not be an area, a county, or a community in this district that will have anything less than my fill attention as your representative in Congress.

It will be a privilege and an honor to represent this great state in Congress, and I pledge to serve with passion, dedication and integrity.

Celeste Maloy, Sept. 6, 2023

Later in the evening, Hough also congratulated Maloy.

“I congratulate Celeste on her projected victory, ” stated Hough. “I enjoyed our time together on the campaign trail as we debated in eleven counties in the district.  She will provide the citizens of the 2nd district with excellent representation. I support her 100% as she moves forward to the general election.”

The last day to register to vote in the Nov. 21 election is Nov. 10.

The following candidates are on the ballot for the general election:

  • Kathleen Riebe (Democrat)
  • Celeste Maloy (Republican)
  • Cassie Easley (Constitution Party)
  • Brad Green (Libertarian)
  • January Walker (United Utah Party)
  • Joseph Geddes Buchman (Independent)
  • Perry Myers (Independent)