‘Engaged, experienced and effective’: John Curtis makes move for Congress

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Provo Mayor John Curtis officially announced he will run for the 3rd Congressional District seat that Jason Chaffetz is leaving vacant at the end of June. (Photo by Rebecca Lane/UV360)

It’s official — Provo Mayor John Curtis has announced he will run for the 3rd Congressional District seat.

After a week of teasing his announcement about running for the seat left vacant by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Curtis joins 10 other candidates running for the soon-to-be-vacant 3rd Congressional District seat: Brigham Rhead Cottam, Rep. Brad Daw (R-Orem), Christopher Niles Herrod (R-Orem), Sen. Deidre Henderson (R-Spanish Fork), Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem), Stewart O. Peay (R-Salt Lake), Tanner Ainge (R-Alpine), Benjamin Frank (D-Cottonwood Heights), Carl Ingwell (D-Monticello) and Kathie Allen (D-Cottonwood Heights).

“Those of you who know me well know that I spent a long time trying to decide if this was the right thing to do,” Curtis said to a crowded room at The Bell in downtown Provo Thursday evening. “So long that the other candidates got a jump in a very short time period. But I had to know in my heart that this was the right thing for me, for my family and for the district. I’m here to tell you that I bring experience, engagement and effectiveness that nobody else can do.”

Curtis is basing his campaign on those three points which he exemplified during his time as Provo’s mayor: engaged, experienced and effective.

“I had to know in my heart that this was the right thing for me, for my family and for the district. I’m here to tell you that I bring experience, engagement and effectiveness that nobody else can do.” — Provo Mayor John Curtis

During his eight-year tenure as Provo’s mayor, Curtis cut 5.5 million in the city budget in his first year, brought Google Fiber to Provo, scheduled services at Provo Airport and more. He is known throughout the city for being a transparent politician with his blog and use of social media.

One point of pride for Curtis is the transformation in the community involvement during his time as mayor. When Curtis asked the crowd who was currently involved in the community, the crowd cheered. When Curtis questioned if they had been involved before he had become mayor, there was silence.

“I’m sensing that people throughout the state, throughout the nation, people want to be engaged at the federal level and we haven’t figured out how to do that,” Curtis said. “I’ll be able to bring that to the Third District. We will have engagement. As a matter of fact, not only will we do town halls, we will reinvent town halls.”

Before Curtis even took the mic — and before the “typical John style” video introduced his entrance — Curtis’ wife Sue said a few words.

“John is not afraid to tackle hard things,” Sue Curtis said. “I know John will make Provo and Utah proud. Our family is behind him 100 percent because we know that if anybody can try to make a course correction at this critical time in American history, that John will be the right person to do that.”

Curtis has two and a half weeks to get 7,000 signatures from supporters. The Primary Election is on Aug. 15. Learn more about his campaign at johncurtis.org.

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Rebecca Lane

While her first language is sarcasm, Rebecca dabbles in English and Russian to achieve her lifelong dream of being a journalist. A BYU sports fan, reading enthusiast and wannabe world traveler, Rebecca is a Colorado transplant that is convinced Colorado's mountains are much larger than the many Utah County peaks. Rebecca manages UtahValley360.com for Bennett Communications. Follow her on Twitter @rebeccalane.

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