Trump supports Utah Rep. Celeste Maloy “fully and unreservedly”

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Republican President Donald Trump on Monday expressed his “complete and unconditional support” for Republican Rep. Celeste Maloy of Utah as she seeks to fend off a challenge from Colby Jenkins in the primary.

Trump announced his support in a post on Truth Social, calling Maloy a “great advocate for the wonderful people of Utah’s 2nd Congressional District!”

“Celeste is fighting to secure the border, create jobs, restore American energy independence, support our armed forces/veterans, defend religious freedom, and protect our ever-beleaguered Second Amendment,” the former president said in a largely scripted statement. “Celeste Maloy has my full and unconditional support!”

Maloy said she looks forward to “working with President Trump to advance the conservative agenda and strengthen America's position as a world leader.” Trump is the likely nominee for the Republican presidential nomination this election cycle.

“I am committed to working with conservatives to secure the border, stop Biden's spending spree and runaway inflation, and regain our energy independence,” the congresswoman added.

Trump's endorsement of Maloy adds an interesting twist to the race just eight days before the June 25 Republican primary, as Utah Senator Mike Lee — a close Trump ally who has been rumored as a possible U.S. attorney general in a second Trump term — is a strong supporter of Jenkins. Lee was one of many Republicans who endorsed Trump earlier this year, before any votes were even cast in the Republican primary.

Lee endorsed Jenkins before the Republican nominating convention in April and has been campaigning for him in recent weeks.

“Every time I hear him speak, I become an even bigger fan of @ColbyforUtah,” Lee posted Saturday after a town hall meeting with the candidate in Tooele.

Lee's surprise support likely helped Jenkins, then a little-known candidate, defeat Maloy at the convention, even though both received enough delegate votes to force a primary.

Maloy was first elected in a special election last fall to succeed her former boss, Representative Chris Stewart, and is seeking her first full term in the House of Representatives.

Anna Harden

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