Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy’s three House colleagues endorsed her reelection Thursday morning less than two weeks before the embattled congresswoman faces off against the Sen. Mike Lee-endorsed candidate, Colby Jenkins.

Reps. Blake Moore, of Utah’s 1st Congressional District, John Curtis, of Utah’s 3rd, and Burgess Owens, of the 4th, said they were “proud to endorse Rep. Celeste Maloy as she fights for Utah’s values in Congress.”

“She has been a tremendous partner in our efforts to represent Utah’s interests, prioritize constituent service, tackle the reckless Biden agenda, and facilitate our state’s rapid economic growth,” a statement said.

It continued: “From fighting to give Utahns more control over our own land and resources, to securing the border, and to upholding religious freedom and the Second Amendment, Celeste is a thoughtful, genuine champion of the people who live in the Second District. We are thankful to serve alongside such a bold, caring, and passionate Utahn who is striving to make our state and country a better place for the next generation.”

What really happened between Rep. Celeste Maloy and Sen. Mike Lee?
Maloy’s opponent explains how he ended up with Lee’s endorsement

In an interview with the Deseret News, Maloy said she appreciated her colleague’s support, especially considering the contentious context surrounding her campaign.

“In a normal year, it wouldn’t matter much. I think everyone would just consider it a matter of course,” Maloy said. “But because our delegation is divided this time, I think it’s an important show of solidarity.”

Maloy, a Republican, won a special election in 2023 to replace Rep. Chris Stewart, her former boss, in Utah’s 2nd District. Following votes by Maloy on legislation Lee opposed, and an in-depth interview between Lee and Jenkins on how he would vote if elected, the senator took the unprecedented step of weighing in on a Utah congressional primary to prevent Maloy from serving a second term.

Lee’s decision, which came as a surprise to Maloy, was announced two days before the state GOP convention where Jenkins beat Maloy 57%-43% among delegates. Both convention-only candidates crossed the threshold necessary to appear on the Utah Republican primary ballot on June 25.

Prior to the vote, Lee took the stage to ask delegates in the district to back the Army veteran, who he promised would be a “warrior” in Congress. Maloy was joined in her remarks by Owens, who defended his colleague’s congressional work ethic and called on delegates to send her back to “finish this work as my teammate.”

In the days since, Lee has gone all in for Jenkins, playing an instrumental role in securing endorsements, filming video ads, making supportive social media posts, sending out fundraising emails and stumping for the political newcomer at campaign events.


Jenkins has consistently criticized Maloy for supporting bipartisan budget bills and government surveillance reauthorization. The former Green Beret liaison to Congress has committed to taking a firm stand on spendings cuts and said he would align himself with the uncompromising House Freedom Caucus if elected.

No public polling has been conducted of the race. The outcome could strain Lee’s influence in Utah Republican politics and will be a big test for the incumbent candidate, with only seven months in office.

During her first term, Maloy has introduced legislation — with Lee — to transfer some federal lands to Utah, passed a bill to improve government programs for women-owned small businesses, has pushed the Justice Department to crack down on teen vaping and has voted against further military aid to Ukraine.

“I’ve had a much more significant impact in my seven months here than most freshmen would have, and my colleagues in the House see that,” Maloy said. “And so when they are willing to throw their weight behind me, I think it really speaks to my abilities and what I’m doing here. Whereas, say, a senator, for example, isn’t necessarily seeing the day-to-day work.”

Rep. Celeste Maloy and Colby Jenkins spar in Utah 2nd District debate
Sen. Mike Lee wants to remake the Republican Party. Will it backfire?
Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.