Provo Mayor John Curtis will be on the primary ballot for Utah’s 3rd congressional district race but with very little support from Utah’s GOP delegates.
The morning of the special convention, candidates for Utah’s 3rd district spread out in the lobby of Timpview High school in Provo.
John Curtis, the moderate mayor known for problem solving, was met with some skepticism by party delegates and enthusiasts.
He’s quick to mention his accomplishments as mayor. For example, how he has helped the homeless community through community organization, not legislation. He also plays to the crowd and transitions into a compliment towards President Trump.
Curtis says he enjoys a 94 percent approval rate in the city of Provo, the largest city in the 3rd district, but that at this convention he’s a little out of place.
“Yeah, I’m a lot different actually," says Curtis. "I think it’s fair to say that I’ve got some work to do here.”
The way the convention works is that the candidate who gets a majority of delegate votes, more than 50 percent, makes it onto the primary ballot in August. But, of the 780 votes possible, Curtis only grabbed 9 percent.
“Yeah, we clearly would have liked to have done better but we knew from the beginning that this was a tough task," Curtis says. "I heard a lot of people say I would vote for you but you’re already on the ballot.”
Curtis gathered more than 7,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot without help from the convention. He now faces party nominee and former state lawmaker Chris Harrod along with Tanner Ainge, who also gathered signatures.
Curtis says he’s excited for this next step and while he couldn’t win over the delegates he thinks he’s much more suited to win the votes of everyday citizens in the 3rd district.