Here’s Celeste Maloy and Utah GOP primary challenger Colby Jenkins views on wars in Ukraine and Israel

Incumbent 2nd Congressional District Rep. Celeste Maloy is facing her first primary challenger as a newly elected member of Congress.

Six months ago, Celeste Maloy won a special election to replace her old boss, U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, who retired mid-term. Now she is seeking reelection, but has drawn a strong challenge from Colby Jenkins, a retired U.S. Army officer who now works for a telecommunications company.

After receiving Mike Lee’s endorsement, Jenkins beat Maloy at the GOP nominating convention this year, but not by enough to secure a spot in November. The winner of the Republican primary will face Nathaniel Woodward, the Democratic nominee, who was chosen to replace candidate Brian Adams after he dropped out of the race.

The Salt Lake Tribune submitted the same set of questions, based on top issues readers said they were watching in this election, to each candidate. The questions and their answers that appear below — with the candidates listed in alphabetical order — may have been edited slightly for length, style or grammar.

1. With the Dobbs decision, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and left abortion policy to individual states. As a member of Congress, would you support a national abortion ban? Why or why not?

Colby Jenkins: I am pro-life. The Supreme Court left this with the states and I believe that’s where it should stay. This is a blade that can cut both ways, if Republicans pass blanket restrictions now then Democrats can force zero restrictions later.

However, if there is bipartisan support for an upper limit on abortion to bring us more in line with both the will of the vast majority of American people and other developed countries, I would support such legislation.

Celeste Maloy: I support reducing the power of the federal government and returning power to the states. The Supreme Court has ruled that states should determine their own laws regarding abortion. Utahns have made it clear that they oppose abortion while allowing for limited exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in peril. I am proudly pro-life and feel strongly that it is our duty to protect the unborn.

The Colorado River faces an uncertain future. Climate change has weakened the river’s flows and overuse has siphoned its reservoirs. As the current guidelines for the operation of the Colorado River and its reservoirs will expire in 2026, the seven states that use the river’s water have been hashing out what new guidelines will look like.

2. Yes or no: Should Utah, an Upper Basin state [along with Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico] cut its Colorado River water use?

Jenkins: No. Utah already does not use about 200,000 acre-feet of our 1.7 million acre-foot allocation granted by the Colorado River Compact. Sadly, despite using less than we’re entitled to of our already-small allocation, barely a trickle of the Colorado River reaches the ocean.

Maloy: The amount of available water from the Colorado River fluctuates just like the amount of snow we receive each winter varies. Utah already takes cuts in the form of annual shortages along with our sister Upper Basin states. Utahns are not overusing their allocation, but every state within the Colorado River basin needs to be wise and conserve wherever possible.

3. How can Utah be part of the solution on the Colorado River?

Jenkins: California is allocated almost 3x the water from the Colorado River as Utah, and Arizona is allocated almost double Utah. On top of that, those two states split the usually 200,000 acre-foot surplus left by Utah each year.

Further conservation by Utah — which is comparably quite responsible with our supply — will likely just be eaten up by the insatiable appetite for water of the downstream states. Conservation must start downstream.

Maloy: Utahns believe in being responsible stewards of our natural resources. I stand with local leaders who believe in defending every drop of our Colorado River allotment. The state had rightly focused on promoting water conservation, investing in infrastructure to expand storage and prevent water waste, and exploring sustainable alternatives. These efforts will help ensure a secure water future for Utah while contributing to the well-being of the entire Colorado River Basin.

4. How should Congress address immigration reform? What are some specific actions Congress should take toward solving this problem?

Jenkins: Simple — and [President Joe] Biden could do 90% of what’s needed without an act of Congress. His refusal to act and then finger-pointing at Congress is disgraceful. End catch-and-release. Reform asylum laws. Finish the wall.

Maloy: There’s no denying our southern border is in crisis. There were nearly 3 million illegal border crossings and 66 aliens on the terror watch list caught at the border in 2022 alone. I will fight to secure our border, finish the wall, fully fund our border patrol and keep dangerous drugs like fentanyl out of our communities.

5. Yes or no: Do you agree with Sen. Mike Lee’s claim that undocumented immigrants are registering to vote in the U.S.?

Jenkins: Yes. We should pass Senator Lee’s SAVE Act immediately.

Right now, the left wants us to think that in the absence of widespread evidence that illegal immigrants are registering to vote we should assume that it never happens. In that conversation, they conveniently leave out the fact that we are not checking voter registration against citizenship. You can’t prove something you don’t even check.

That’s all Sen. Lee’s bill will do, check for citizenship when you register. If Democrats truly don’t think illegal immigrants are voting, then what’s the harm in passing this legislation?

Maloy: There is nothing more fundamental to our democratic republic than election integrity. Our entire system of government is based on representing the will of the voters. I have voted in Congress, and will continue to vote in Congress, to ensure that only American citizens are eligible to vote. We should take reasonable precautions to ensure that undocumented immigrants are not voting.

6. More or less: Military aid for Ukraine?

Jenkins: There is no serious national security argument for more aid to Ukraine by anyone who refuses to fix our border. No aid should go to Ukraine until we fix our national security crisis on our own border.

Maloy: I support Ukraine’s right to defend itself. I have always been supportive of sending Ukraine lethal aid, but I’m not comfortable sending them large amounts of money, particularly without accountability for how it is used. I voted against the Ukraine aid bill for that reason.

7. More or less: Military aid for Israel?

Jenkins: We have few strategic allies as important as Israel. They play a critical role in the Middle East. However, there is one strategic ally even more important than Israel – the American families who are being endangered by ceding control of our southern border to the cartels and whose economic well-being is endangered by record government spending, debt and deficit.

I absolutely support military aid for our ally Israel, but America cannot project power overseas when she doesn’t protect her people at home. One thing that we could be doing for free right now is we could start backing up Israel rather than Hamas and Iran.

Maloy: Israel is our most important ally in the Middle East. We need to support them with lethal aid, intelligence, and funding. They are transparent and accountable with us about how they use the aid we send them.

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