“I do want people in Southern Utah to feel like I've 'got your back'.” That's what newly elected U.S. Congressman Celeste Maloy told us this morning on the Big Picture Morning Show on KSUB. “I live here in Cedar City. I have to take a connecting flight or a long drive to get to the airport just like everybody who lives here,” Maloy continued.

Maloy was the winner of the special election to replace former Congressman Chris Stewart, who resigned earlier this year. We asked Maloy if it would be fair to say that she was elected to congress by Southern Utah to which she replied, “It would. If you look at the numbers, it's very clear, Southern Utah and rural Utah elected me. Now, I have a lot of work to do in Northern Utah because they're a little suspicious of someone that got elected that clearly by Southern Utah.”

Speaker Johnson Holds Ceremonial Swearing-In For Representative–Elect Celeste Maloy
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Maloy expressed satisfaction that her election may have changed the paradigm of voters in the 2nd Congressional District in Utah saying that candidates running in the future will not be able to ignore the rural counties of the district.

We asked the Congressman what was the message she would be taking from Southern Utah back to her colleagues in congress. “What I hear over and over from people in Southern Utah, in rural Utah, is they're sick and tired of government overreach. The government's way too involved in the decisions that local government's are making. That's what's forefront for me,” Maloy said.

Maloy for Congress
Maloy for Congress

One of the first things the new Congressman did upon taking the oath of office was to make sure that all of the projects Congressman Stewart was working on for the rural portions of Utah were still “on track.”

We asked Maloy about the PILT program, that's the Payment In Lieu of Taxes program that comes from the federal government to local governments to off set losses in property tax due to the existence of non-taxable federal land. “We're actually in a better place on PILT then we have been in in the past. Every year, in the appropriations process, we have to go through this decision making to decide if we are going to fund PILT and if we're funding it wether we are funding at the full level.” Maloy gave credit to county commissioners from around the country for getting PILT funded at full levels. She said the “fight” to get the funding is not what it used to be.

Congressman Maloy indicated that she was not going to be a stranger to the district and that we would likely have her on the radio often. “My definition of success in this job is if people in my district know that I represent them and know that I care about what's happening in their town. In order to do that, I've got to spend a lot of time on the ground in communities in this district.

Maloy said that when she take “controversial” votes she wants to be on with us to explain the reasons she voted the way she did. She said “I think that's fair.” Sounds like we will be hearing from Congressman Maloy on a regular basis.

Listen to our entire segment with Celeste Maloy below.


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