Wagswoofs – Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah) has announced his candidacy for the Senate seat that was left vacant by the retirement of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah). In an interview with Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV on Tuesday, Curtis shared his decision to run for the Senate.
The race for the seat is heating up with the entry of a new contender. Joining a crowded primary field, the lawmaker is set to compete against Brent Hatch, the son of the esteemed late Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who served the state for more than four decades.
In late September, Curtis hinted at the possibility of running for Senate. However, just days later, he wrote an op-ed in Deseret News where he firmly stated his commitment to seeking reelection in the House for 2024.
Curtis revealed that as soon as he announced his decision not to run, he was inundated with requests from people urging him to reconsider. Interestingly, many of these individuals were the same ones who had initially encouraged him to run for Senate instead of the House. Their belief in his ability to serve the public in a more impactful way in the Senate ultimately played a significant role in Curtis changing his mind.
With a record of successfully passing bills and three terms of experience as a lawmaker, the congressman believes he is well-prepared for the upper chamber.
According to KSL-TV, he stated, “I bring that, and then I also bring a Utah focus. People know that I’m not the guy who wakes up and tries to get on TV at night. I wake up and say, ‘What can I do for the district?’ And I think people have really appreciated that.”
Curtis, a former mayor of Provo, Utah, and current representative of the Provo area in Congress, had identified as a Democrat until 2006.
Romney made the announcement in September that he would not be seeking reelection. According to Utah GOP Chairman Robert Axson, at that time, there were approximately a dozen individuals who were seriously considering running for the seat.
Damon Cann, the head of Utah State University’s department of political science, confidently stated in September, “This upcoming Republican primary election is bound to make waves. It’s a rare occurrence to witness open Senate seats in Utah.”
Several noteworthy candidates vying for Romney’s seat include Brad Wilson, the Speaker of the Utah House, and several Republican mayors. Democrats are not anticipated to pose a significant challenge in the state.
The primary for the Utah Senate is scheduled for June 25th.