Many residents in Washington County received a print ad in their mailboxes yesterday, August 24, 2023. This ad, published by the Hough campaign, was deceptive in quoting Utah State Republican Party Chair Rob Axson, with his picture. It was formatted in such a way to lead some to assume the State Party Chair was endorsing Hough.

Washington County Republican Party Chair Lesa Sandberg immediately contacted Axson, who said this was done without his knowledge or permission.

He said the picture was taken from a website, and the quote (about the need for all citizens to vote in elections) was taken from an email that he sent shortly after his election last April to State Chair, and had nothing to do with the race Hough is currently in.

Axson said Celeste Maloy is the Utah Republican Party Candidate, and has his and the Party’s full support.

Sandberg attended the special election where state delegates nominated Maloy as the candidate to replace Chris Stewart in the Congressional District 2 race. During the nomination, Hough received 14 of 740 delegate votes. Due to the “SB54” legislation put into effect in 2014, the only way Hough was able to be on the primary ballot was by collecting signatures.

Sandberg said she's disappointed to see fellow Republicans run smear campaigns.

“That’s not what Utah politics are about," she said. "Negative campaigning doesn’t usually reap good rewards for the candidates who do it. Especially in Utah.”

Sandberg said the Washington County Republican Party fully supports convention candidate, Celeste Maloy.

"Not only did she win the convention, she is the only candidate who has been working on behalf of Congressional District 2 for the past four years with Congressman Chris Stewart," Sandberg said. "She understands the district’s needs and values."

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