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Utah CD2 special election (Chris Stewart’s district)

Oneye

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This district is where I live, just a reminder Chris Stewart’s likely successor will be the winner of the election that takes place tomorrow. Stewart has continually been one of the more antagonistic Representatives in the House towards public lands. He’s introduced legislation such as stripping federal agencies (the BLM and Forest Service) of having the ability to have law enforcement agencies within them in the past. He is stepping away from politics next month due to family reasons. Wish he and his family all the best btw. There are 3 candidates running in the Republican primary special election that will happen tomorrow.

Becky Edwards (ran a primary against Mike Lee and was a Republican in the Utah legislature for 10 years)

Celeste Maloy (Stewart’s chief of staff and endorsed by Stewart and the parties official nominee)

Bruce Hough (prior Utah Republican Party chair)


In elections like this I think you have to take moderate improvements when you can get them on candidates from a district like this on their positions of public lands.


I actually do think that any of these 3 will be an improvement from the standpoint of public lands vs what Stewart did while in congress. Utah replaced Rob Bishop with Blake Moore, and Moore has been WAY less antagonistic toward public lands. Chaffetz got replaced by John Curtis after his mess when he tried to sell millions of acres of BLM land. Now if asked Moore and Curtis would say they support some sort of state control but they don’t make it a major part of their time in congress like Chaffetz, Bishop, Mike Lee, or Chris Stewart did. Chaffetz honestly really kicked that hornets nest a while back and everyone (minus Mike Lee) has kind of backed off the whole state transfer or sell thing quite a bit. Stewart was definitely the most antagonistic Representative from Utah (except for Lee) at this point. So while I wish he and his family all the best, I’m happy to see him stepping away from congress and being a continual thorn in the side of public lands and public land policy.


I honestly have no clue how this election is going to go. As gerrymandered as the districts in Utah are, part of this district contains part of Salt Lake City, clear down to the very bottom part of the state (St. George/Washington County). Very differing politics, very differing candidates, very low turnout so far.

Edwards has chosen the moderate lane, Hough has chosen the Trumpy lane, Maloy has chose the “I’m the parties official nominee, but I’m not Trumpy” lane.

One poll showed Edwards with a large lead of 32% Edwards, 11% Hough, 9% Maloy. But 47% of respondents were also undecided in that poll.

I’ll be honest, I think any of these 3 will be an improvement on public lands from what I’ve seen. The poll above isn’t really reflective of where the race actually stands from what I’ve heard on internal polling. It’s really a toss up race between Maloy and Edwards, Hough is WELL behind. Houghs own internal poll showed it was around 31% Edwards, 29% Maloy, 11% Hough, the rest undecided.


My opinion on this race from a public lands and conservation perspective, is Hough would be the worst, Celeste would be 2nd worst, and Edwards would be the least antagonistic to public lands. Just judging by responses I got from them, or what I’ve gathered. Celeste is pretty moderate as well (Edwards is the most moderate in the race) but Celeste being Stewart’s endorsement is a bit of a red flag for me.

I’m the end I think Edwards or Maloy will win this race. I’d personally rather it were Edwards and that’s who I voted for. I vote with public lands and conservation in mind first and foremost. I think Edwards is most opening to listening to everyone and all perspectives within the district vs the other two who are very much tightly party oriented.


This is just a reminder to anyone living in Utah’s second congressional district, that there’s a special election tomorrow to pick the likely replacement for Chris Stewart, one of the most anti-public land individuals that’s been in congress. Go let your voice be heard if you’re in this district and make sure to vote. Turnout is very low so far. You do have to be a registered Republican to vote or be an independent or unaffiliated and show up to the polls and you can vote. I know if you’re unaffiliated or independent you can vote in this election, you have to fill something out at the polls, not sure what. I’m registered as a Republican so I can vote in things like this.

Best to all.
 
Leupold BX-4 Rangefinding Binoculars

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