Utah republicans Pick Trump Skeptic John Curtis To Replace Romney

(RepublicanReport.org) – In September 2023, long-time legislator Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) announced he would not run for re-election. He said it was time for a new generation to step into leadership roles and start “mak[ing] the decisions that will shape American politics,” and he didn’t want to stand in the way. Romney is an anti-Trump Republican who voted to impeach the former president twice and has been an outspoken critic of him for years. The open seat left many to wonder who would fill his shoes. Republicans in Utah recently chose who they want to replace him.

Who Did They Pick?

On June 25, Representative John Curtis (R-UT) won the Utah primary election against three competitors hoping to fill Romney’s seat. He earned 51.6% of the vote, besting his closest opponent, Trump-endorsed Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, by a whopping 23.5%. The race was called less than a half hour after the polls closed that evening. Curtis will run against Democrat Caroline Gleich in November. She won by default because her opposing candidate dropped out of the race before the Democratic primary.

Curtis is similar to Romney in many ways, including his feelings about former President Donald Trump and his politics. He’s a mainstream GOP member and Trump critic, although he voted against impeaching the former US leader during both of his congressional indictments.

However, the Utah lawmaker called for Trump’s censure after the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. Curtis wasn’t planning to run for the Senate seat but was encouraged by a super PAC supported by climate activist Jay Faison. The lawmaker is a known advocate for stopping climate change and answered the PAC’s call. His campaign was well funded, spending upwards of $8.5 million to secure the primary.

Reactions to the Win

After Curtis’ victory, Romney congratulated him on social media, calling the lawmaker a “man of honor and integrity.” The senator said that Utah and America could use “more leaders like him.” Curtis is reportedly heavily favored over Gleich to win in the fall, as Utah hasn’t elected a Democrat to fill a Senate seat since 1970.

While the GOP Senate candidate doesn’t rebuff Trump as harshly as Romney, the lawmaker previously stated that he would not “give him an unconditional yes to anything he wants” — the treatment Trump seems to require for MAGA Republicans.

Curtis spoke to the press following his victory. He said the win was a “loud statement” from voters in Utah. He said being in the Senate will allow him to “go deeper on issues.”

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