Rep. John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Mitt Romney’s Seat

Rep. John Curtis Wins GOP Primary for Mitt Romney's Seat

( – Voters in Utah have picked Representative John Curtis (R-UT) as their replacement for Republican Senator Mitt Romney.

Curtis beat several contenders for Utah’s primary held on June 25. He received nearly 50% of the votes. Trent Staggs, a candidate endorsed by Trump, came in second with 32% of the votes. The remainder were split among several other candidates.

Curtis has criticized Trump numerous times even though he voted against his impeachments. Romney voted against Trump. However, Curtis did call for Trump to be censured after the Capitol Hill protests on January 6, 2021.

Curtis has also pushed for action on the issue of climate change. He served as the founder of the congressional Conservative Climate Caucus, a group hoping to influence more conservative officials to discuss climate. It currently has over 80 members.

Romney is frequently accused by members of the GOP of acting as a RINO (Republican in name only). Some MAGA Republicans in Utah fear Curtis will go down a similar path. Romney frequently disappointed his harder-line Republican colleagues by voting with Democrats on key issues. He also publicly said that there are some Democrats he would support for president before endorsing Donald Trump. He decided to leave the Senate after only serving one term, citing Trump and his supporters as the reason.

Few voters and experts believe Staggs stood a real chance of winning. That’s why many were stunned when Trump endorsed his candidacy ahead of Utah’s Republican convention. He couldn’t afford to compete with the $1.5 million of ads purchased by Curtis or the two PACs that funded his campaign.

Romney decided to stay neutral ahead of the primaries, but he did speak well of both Curtis and Rand Wilson, who previously served as Utah’s House Speaker. He also congratulated Curtis after the victory and called him a “man of honor.”

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