TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) — House Representative Karen Kwan (D-Murray) announced on Thursday, Jan. 5, that she is seeking the appointment to replace Sen. Karen Mayne (D-West Valley City) in the Utah Senate when she resigns on Jan. 16.

Mayne, the Minority Whip, revealed on Wednesday, Jan. 4, that she will be stepping down from the Utah Senate after her health took an “unexpected turn” since her re-election last November.

“I wish Senator Mayne a full and speedy recovery,” Kwan said. “After deep reflection, I have decided that I will seek to fill Senator Mayne’s Senate Seat. I have been honored to serve the families in our district for the past 6 years. During my time in the legislature, I have built strong relationships with members on both sides of the aisle while advocating for Utah’s working families and look forward to continuing Senator Mayne’s legacy of bipartisanship and effective legislation.”

Kwan began her legislative career in 2016 when she defeated Macade Jensen to represent District 34. She won the general election last November to represent District 31. Outside of legislative work, Kwan works as an associate professor at the Salt Lake Community College.

Mayne currently represents District 12, which covers parts of West Valley City, Kearns and Taylorsville. Kwan states on her website that she has been “a long-time resident of Taylorsville with her family.”

Per Utah State Law, when a legislator steps down from office, their replacement will be determined by a vote of party delegates from their district. Gov. Spencer Cox will then make the official appointment to the vacant seat.

The Utah Democratic Party released details about the special election to fill Mayne’s seat in District 12 today — Candidate filing is open from Jan. 5 until Jan. 12 at 5 p.m., and the election will be held virtually on Jan. 15. The 2023 legislative session begins on Jan. 17.

“It has been an honor to have Karen Mayne as my Senator and mentor. I have appreciated everything she has taught me about being a dedicated public servant,” Kwan said. “While I know these are big shoes to fill, I believe I am the best person to represent Senate District 12. As a seasoned legislator with a track record of success, I am ready to step up on day one to deliver for the constituents of this district. I am looking forward to hearing from the delegates during this process to ensure they are best represented during the upcoming legislative session and beyond.”