SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. Rep. John Curtis has fended off a challenger in Utah’s Republican primary.
The 58-year-old former Provo mayor secured his nomination for re-election by beating businessman Chris Herrod on Tuesday.
Curtis will seek his first full term in November against Democrat college professor James Singer and United Utah Party candidate Melanie McCoard.
Curtis entered office following a special election last year to replace Jason Chaffetz. Herrod had unsuccessfully challenged Curtis in that election as well.
Curtis’s 3rd Congressional District is heavily Republican and stretches from the suburbs of Salt Lake City to the state’s rural southeast corner. Curtis is favored to win in the general election.
Curtis has broken with President Donald Trump on plans for a U.S.-Mexico border wall and the administration’s policy of separating families after illegal border crossings.
Herrod had advertised himself as a conservative pro-Trump alternative. Hardliner Republicans had criticized Curtis for having once been a Democrat and for taking the unpopular route of gathering voter signatures to ensure a spot in the primary, instead of trying to win the nomination solely by appealing to delegates at the party’s April convention. Curtis competed at the convention and came just 1.25 percentage points shy of winning the nomination outright at that event.
Curtis had a much deeper war chest, raising $137,000 in the two months ahead of the election, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures.
Herrod raised just $7,500.
Chaffetz, who is now a commentator on Fox News Channel, stepped down last year saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Utah Republicans running for re-election in the state’s three other U.S. House seats — Reps. Rob Bishop, Mia Love and Chris Stewart — won their nominations at the state party convention in April.