With Chaffetz out June 30, Republican candidates rush to fill his seat

With Chaffetz out June 30, Republican candidates rush to fill his seat (US Capitol / AP photo)

Watch below as Jason Chaffetz explains why he is leaving the U.S. House of Representatives on June 30.

(KUTV) Provo Mayor John Curtis, who has been considering running for Utah's third congressional seat, tweeted Thursday he is "feeling more & more like it's the right thing to do."

Curtis, who announced last year he would not seek re-election as mayor, said he and his wife would announce a decision in the next few days.

"I want to make sure it's right," Curtis told 2News. "I want to make sure that I have something to offer, and when I'm there I'll make my announcement."

Meanwhile, State Rep. Brad Daw (R-Orem) confirmed to 2News he plans to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Jason Chaffetz on June 30. Chaffetz announced Thursday he would leave office a year-and-a-half before his term is set to expire.

"It just feels like the right time to me. I've been very successful with the state," said Daw. "I live right in the middle of the district. I've got a lot of good support and a lot of good people asking me to run."

State Sen. Margaret Dayton (R-Orem) announced Thursday afternoon she would join the race.

"I have a record of standing up for the states," Dayton said, "of trying to make sure that we align our powers with the Constitution."

State Sen. Deidre Henderson (R-Spanish Fork), who told 2News last month she is seriously considering running for the seat, has an announcement planned for Friday morning.

American Fork attorney Damian Kidd, who announced he would challenge Chaffetz before the congressman said he would step down, said Thursday he is still in the race.

"I think being a political outsider is an asset in this race," Kidd said. "We need somebody to go back, drain the swamp, balance the budget."

Matthew Holland, president of Utah Valley University, has topped several recent polls of possible third district Republican contenders. A university spokeswoman said Holland was out of the country Thursday and unavailable for comment. He told 2News earlier this month he isn't ruling out running but is happy at his current job.

Chris Herrod, a former state representative from Provo, also told 2News he is considering running.

Chaffetz originally announced in April his intention not to seek re-election, citing the many nights away from home as well as his desire to return to the private sector. He did not rule out a future political run. Chaffetz, who has served in Congress since 2009, has previously expressed interest in running for governor. That race is set for 2020.

Previously, Democrat Dr. Kathryn Allen announced she would run against Chaffetz and received significant financial support in her election bid. Activist Ben Frank is also running as a Democrat.

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