Republican voters will go to the polls tomorrow and mail their ballots to county offices today in order to decide the special primary election among Republicans Chris Herrod, a former state Representative who is the party-endorsed candidate, Provo Mayor John Curtis, and marketing executive Tanner Ainge. Polling gives Mayor Curtis the advantage, but it is clear his campaign has peaked early and outside PAC spending has brought both Herrod and Ainge into much stronger position. Because this is largely a by-mail election, we may not know the final results until later in the week.
The Republican winner will meet Dr. Kathryn Allen (D) in a November 7th special general election. Dr. Allen was nominated in convention back in March, so she is not on the ballot tomorrow. The seat is overwhelmingly Republican – Hillary Clinton did not even finish second in this district – so the eventual GOP nominee will have an enormous advantage in securing the seat in November. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Alpine/Sandy) resigned the position in June to pursue private sector and media opportunities. This contest is the first Utah special congressional election conducted in the state since 1930.
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