Becky Edwards collects enough signatures to appear on GOP primary ballot for a seat in Congress

In response to the announcement, Edwards tweeted, “Here we go!!”

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Republican U.S. Senate candidate Becky Edwards gives a concession speech at her primary election night party in Salt Lake City's Sugar House Park on Tuesday, June 28, 2022. On Sunday, Edwards got enough signatures to appear on the 2023 Republican primary election ballot.

Former Utah state Sen. Becky Edwards has qualified for the Republican primary election ballot in the race to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart.

Edwards has collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot for the Sept. 5 special congressional primary, according to a tweet late Friday from Vote Utah, the elections office run by Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson.

In response to the announcement, Edwards tweeted, “Here we go!!”

Stewart announced on May 31 that he would resign from his U.S. House seat, from which he had represented Utah’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. He cited his wife’s “health concerns” as the reason he was stepping down. He will leave his seat in September.

There were two ways to get on the primary ballot: Collect 7,000 signatures within a 27-day window, or be nominated by Republican delegates at the party’s state convention, which took place June 24.

GOP delegates, after five ballots, chose Celeste Maloy — a former staff member in Stewart’s D.C. office — to be the party’s nominee to succeed her old boss and represent Utah’s 2nd congressional district. Party chair Rob Axson formally submitted Maloy’s name to the ballot Wednesday, brushing off questions raised about Maloy’s eligibility to be the party’s nominee.

Edwards — who last year ran unsuccessfully to unseat U.S. Sen. Mike Lee — collected more than 12,000 signatures, she announced Wednesday on Twitter. Edwards’ team employed a team of volunteers, along with some paid signature-gathering.

The only other person to submit signatures for the primary is Bruce Hough, retired co-founder of Nutraceutical and former Utah GOP chairman. (He’s also the father of former “Dancing With the Stars” dancers Julianna and Derek Hough.)

As of Sunday, Henderson’s office had not yet confirmed whether Hough had enough signatures to make the ballot. Vote Utah tweeted last week that the Davis County Clerk’s office is verifying those signatures, as it did the signatures Edwards’ campaign submitted.

The winner of the Republican primary will face the Utah Democratic Party’s chosen candidate, state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, in the special general election on Nov. 21. (The Utah Legislature voted last month to delay the vote, as well as all municipal elections in the state, from the traditional first week in November.)

Republicans outnumber Democrats 3-to-1 in the 2nd district, which stretches from Tooele County and Salt Lake City’s west side in the north to St. George and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the south.