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Utah Rep. John Curtis forced into primary at state GOP convention

A man stands at a podium with people sitting at tables on either side.
Ivana Martinez
Rep. John Curtis, R-UT, was first elected in a special election in 2017.

Two-term Republican Utah Congressman John Curtis will face off with former state representative Chris Herrod in a June primary.

Curtis failed to get the 60% of the vote he needed to avoid the primary. He received support from just over 45% of delegates in the final round of voting. Herrod got close to 55% of the vote. Curtis joked it felt like deja vu since he’s faced Herrod three times in the past.

Curtis said he didn’t collect signatures because he put his trust in the voters. Similarly, he didn’t collect them in his last bid for re-election. But as he moves forward, he said he’ll keep working to reach out to his constituents.

“We're obviously looking at a much broader audience, and so we'll use different tools to do that. But you'll see the same intensity and the same hard work,”

He said his past voting record speaks for his values and policies he supports.

“I have an important committee assignment. I have a voting record, a track record. So it's very easy for the voters to see what I've done,” Curtis said.

He currently serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and chairs the Conservative Climate Caucus.

This is Chris Herrod’s third time running for the seat. In his blog, he has railed against COVID-19 restrictions and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. During his speech he took a jab at Curtis' past voting record.

Curtis was a Democrat in the early 2000s in Utah County. Herrod served in the Utah House of Representatives from 2007-2012.

“I'm the only candidate in this race with a proven voting record. In fact, I'm the only candidate in this race that's been a Republican all my life before I entered the Utah House,” he said.

Curtis said he and Herrod are neighbors.

“Our kids actually went to prom together,” he said. “[Herrod] is a very talented individual. He'll be a tough competitor. And I look forward to laying out the issues and letting the voters decide.”

The primary is June 28.

Ivana is a general assignment reporter
Sonja Hutson is a politics and government reporter at KUER.
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