Tanner Ainge loses primary election for Utah's US House seat
06:55, Aug 17, 2017
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But Curtis's opponents have already cast him as the candidate of Trump and his party.
Curtis advances to the November 7 general election and face Democrat Kathryn Allen and several third party candidates who have secured spots on the ballot. Provo Mayor John Curtis was the victor and will be the Republican nominee.
But despite declaring himself "the most conservative mayor that the state's ever had" in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, Curtis's bona fides have been sharply challenged by former state representative Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge - both of whom have sought to outflank Curtis from the right and have gained on Curtis in recent polls. Despite their disagreements on Trump, all three candidates say they support the president's agenda - including plans to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexican border, revamp the tax code and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Curtis, the target of most of the out-of-state attack ads, faced suspicion and criticism from some Republicans for his 2000 run as a Democrat for the state Legislature and his time leading a county Democratic party. Chaffetz represented the district until June when he abruptly resigned, citing a desire to spend more time with family. While Allen has raised almost a half-million dollars after challenging Chaffetz earlier this year, national Democrats have shown no sign of getting involved in the race.
Votes are set to be tallied late Tuesday in the GOP primary that is expected to determine the next representative for the heavily Republican 3rd congressional district. He and his wife donated $250,000 to a pro-Tanner political action committee and each gave $2,700 to his campaign. Wilson said it shows Curtis can work in a bipartisan way to get things done.
"Negative campaigns are effective, but I do think that tone and factual context also matters", he said.
Since vacating his seat at the end of June, Chaffetz has taken on a job as a Fox News commentator, though he has left open the possibility of a future run for office. Only registered Republicans are eligible to vote in the race, but Utah County elections officials mistakenly sent congressional ballots to unaffiliated voters as well.
Those voters were notified of the flub, and had the option of appearing in person at a voting center on Tuesday to register as Republicans. Voter turnout was 33 percent during last year's GOP primary. Bob Bennett, a longtime Republican who lost re-election in 2010, the first of several GOP candidates ousted in tea party wave. Robert Bennett (R-Utah). The younger Bennett was a "never Trump" Republican past year and his "United Utah" Party qualified for the 3rd District ballot only after a recent court ruling.
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