Special election convention delegates gathered on Saturday to advance one of eleven candidates to the special August 15th primary to replace resigning Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Alpine/Sandy). Former state Rep. Chris Herrod, who managed Ted Cruz’s Utah presidential campaign – a state that proved to be the Texas’ Senator’s strongest – won the delegate vote on the fifth round with 55% support. Mr. Herrod advances to the special primary where he faces Provo Mayor John Curtis and businessman Tanner Ainge, who both qualified via the petition signature process. Since this seat is one of the most conservative in the nation, it is a virtual certainty that the Republican primary winner will replace Mr. Chaffetz as the 3rd District Representative in the November 7th special general election.
Mr. Herrod won a special election and appointment process for the state House in 2007, ironically over Mr. Curtis, when an incumbent vacated mid-term to accept a state appointment. He would then challenge Sen. Orrin Hatch in the 2012 nominating convention, losing badly. He attempted a comeback against a Republican state Senator in 2016, but lost that campaign, as well. Mr. Ainge is the son of Boston Celtics general manager and former Brigham Young University basketball star Danny Ainge. Both he and Mr. Curtis were successful in obtaining 7,000 valid 3rd District registered Republican signatures to qualify for the special primary ballot, thus by-passing the party endorsement event.
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