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Utah’s GOP drama continues as candidate Trump declined to endorse sues for uncounted votes

A Republican congressional candidate from Utah is suing a Washington County clerk after losing his race by a narrow margin. Colby Jenkins lost his primary race in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District by approximately 300 votes last week after challenging incumbent Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-UT). In the wake of the narrow loss, Jenkins has taken his […]

A Republican congressional candidate from Utah is suing a Washington County clerk after losing his race by a narrow margin.

Colby Jenkins lost his primary race in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District by approximately 300 votes last week after challenging incumbent Rep. Celeste Maloy (R-UT).

In the wake of the narrow loss, Jenkins has taken his case to court over 531 ballots that were submitted by voters but disqualified from being counted by the Salt Lake County’s clerk’s office. Washington County Clerk Ryan Sullivan says the ballots had signatures that did not match, otherwise known as the “uncured” ballot list. 


Sullivan has rebuffed the Jenkins campaign’s request to obtain the list of rejected ballots so they can contact voters and determine whether their vote can count. Nearly all of the rejected ballots come from Washington County, where Jenkins held a firm lead over Maloy. 

Maloy and Jenkins debate during Utah’s 2nd Congressional district debate in June. (Scott G. Winterton/The Deseret News via AP, Pool)

Jenkins questioned the motivation behind Sullivan’s decision to deny access to the ballots online Friday.

“While many counties have managed to cure all or almost all of their ballots, Washington County still has a whopping 531 uncured ballots,” the congressional candidate said

“We find it a suspicious coincidence that such a large number of ballots are being withheld in a county that Mr. Jenkins is winning with nearly 60% of the vote. 

Judge Jay Winward has agreed to hear Jenkins’s case on July 8. That is just one day before the deadline for voters to “cure” or remedy any problems with the election. 

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This isn’t the first time the Utah congressional contest has stirred up drama. Former President Donald Trump sparked buzz after he endorsed Jenkins’s primary opponent, Maloy. The decision came even though Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a Trump ally, backed Jenkins. 

Jenkins called Trump’s decision “surprising.”

“Celeste Maloy is a Never-Trumper who has referred to President Trump as a dictator. Until about five minutes ago she refused to even mention the name ‘Trump,’” Jenkins said last month. 

Maloy’s public statements have remained largely neutral over the last week as her opponent battles to access the rejected ballots. 

“The waiting is the hardest part,” she posted to X in a statement on Sunday. “I know this has been a challenge for all of us as we watch and wait for the ballots to be counted.” 

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She added praise for the county clerks, saying “I’m grateful to the county clerks and their teams for the hard work they are putting in to ensure an accurate count.”

The Washington Examiner reached out to the Jenkins and Maloy campaigns for comment.

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