On a debate stage in June, 11 Republican candidates for a special election in Utah's 2nd District were asked to name their top candidates for the 2024 presidential ballot. One declared that former President Donald Trump had his vote "and it's not even close." Seven seemed open to other contenders — floating names like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — but specifically praised Trump. And three didn't mention Trump at all, side-stepping the moderator's question by pontificating on the appropriateness of weighing in or commending the entire Republican field.

Now, the deadline to appear on the 2nd District special election ballot has passed — and the three candidates who avoided mentioning Trump are the only Republicans on it.

The 2nd District stretches from Salt Lake City in the north all the way down to St. George, covering much of the southwestern portion of the state. With a Cook PVI of R+11, the winner of the Sept. 5 GOP primary is virtually guaranteed to end up winning the Nov. 21 general election to replace Republican Rep. Chris Stewart, who announced on May

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