John Curtis

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John Curtis is the former mayor of Provo. He is the incumbent running as a Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the November 2018 Election, Utah.

Our overall view of John Curtis is negative. Having run as a Democrat in 2000 strongly tarnishes his image. We do not think that anybody with a good head on their shoulders and solid conservative principles could join the Democratic Party without wrestling mightily against his conscience. One of our voting principles has always been "don't support a party platform you do not think is generally good" and the Democratic Party has never had a platform that we have recognized to be generally good. He has explained that he got the local party to change its platform to be acceptable to him so that he could give voters more conservative options, and elsewhere, that he was trying to bring conservative value to the Democratic party. This improves things, but his explanation still begs many questions. We are further concerned that he shows a disregard and disrespect for constitutional principles by taking advantage of SB 54 to avoid the scrutiny of a caucus. That this is politically expedient, we do not deny, but it is bad form and further supports the idea that there is a deficiency in his principles. Although he can cite a couple of areas in which he aligns with conservatives, his overall behavior along with his record of supporting tax increases and expanding the scope of government make it clear that if John Curtis is a conservative, he is big government moderate conservative. We're not convinced that he deserves the label of conservative at all though.


In one meeting with delegates, John Curtis was asked about hus statement that "I don't believe the problem is the amount of money we're collecting. It's the way that we're spending money".[1] The delegate asked, "what assurances can you give me that you actually act on this statement despite the fact that your record shows otherwise." His response was "I don’t know what assurances I can give except look at my record." At the same meeting, when talking about school safety, John Curtis expressed support for the idea of confiscating guns from someone who has a restraining order against them, declaring that it is great to take people’s guns before due process because it doesn’t ever go on their record or show up on a background check.[2]

In a debate with Chris Herrod, John Curtis asserted regarding gun control that "you can't just hide behind the Second Amendment."[3]

2017 and Earlier

In 2017, John Curtis won the 3rd Congressional District seat in a special election, running as a Republican. Immediately prior to that, he was the mayor of Provo. He ran for the Utah State Senate in 2000 as a Democrat.[4]

John Curtis has expressed, regarding the Trump/Russia investigation, that the new FBI director should continue to investigate independently.[5] His son, in May of 2017, reached out to an anti-Trump group called Utah Indivisible, in order to request their support for his father's 2017 congressional campaign.[6] In June 2017, John was asked about his possible affiliation with the Utah Indivisible group. No actual answer to this question was reported on. Instead, he ducked the question by providing his standard line regarding his 2000 campaign as a Democrat in 2000.[7] In July 2017, this group, apparently impressed with the un-conservative credentials of John Curtis, was encouraging their members to register as Republicans in order to manipulate the result of the primary.[8]

Curtis has been endorsed by Gary R. Herbert.[9]

John Curtis used signature gathering to bypass the party convention for his 2017 bid for a congressional seat.[10] He has explained that he did not think that he would get a fair shake in the caucus due to his history of having run as a Democrat against the Republican Party in 2000. He counters that he is a moderate who is anti-abortion and a supporter of gun rights and further that his principles haven't changed, but that he has simply chosen to apply his principles in different parties at different times.[11] John's campaign website further explains that, concerned by the negative affects of party myopia, he got the region's Democratic party to change its platform and support him as a challenger to the Republican candidate.[12] In a Twitter Q&A, John said "tried bringing conservative principles to the Democratic Party and it was the wrong move. I learned a lot."[13]

John Curtis supported a utility tax increase and other tax increases.[14]

External Resources