The Republican mayor of Provo, Utah, won Tuesday’s special election congressional race to replace Jason Chaffetz, who suddenly retired over the summer.
Mayor John Curtis handily defeated Dr. Kathie Allen, a Democrat, and a handful of third party candidates, including Jim Bennett, son of the late Sen. Bob Bennett.
Curtis will have to run for reelection in 2018.
John Curtis, Republican
Provo Mayor John Curtis, 57, won the special election congressional race Tuesday to replace Jason Chaffetz. Chaffetz, now a Fox News contributor, announced his resignation over the summer.
While Curtis didn’t vote for President Trump last year, his policies are still more in-line with the president’s – something his opponents used as a criticism.
Curtis supports a border wall, Trump’s Supreme Court nominees and Republicans’ tax plan. He also wants ObamaCare to be repealed.
Before his Election Day victory, Curtis had announced that he would not seek a third term as mayor of Provo and wanted to leave politics altogether.
“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 when he announced his candidacy at an event in Provo. “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.”
As mayor, Curtis cut $5.5 million from the city’s budget within his first year. He also brought Google Fiber to Provo and is known to be transparent through the use of social media and his blog, Utah Valley 360 reported.
Curtis is expected to be sworn into Congress quickly.
Curtis graduated from Brigham Young University with a business management degree; he can also speak Mandarin Chinese.
Kathie Allen, Democrat
Kathie Allen, a Utah physician, wanted more medical professionals in government to “critically examine symptoms, synthesize them and render an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan,” she said on her campaign website.
Allen, 64, planned to take on insurance companies and health care corporations if she had won, she said.
Allen worked as a congressional aide for former Rep. Shirley N. Pettis, R-Calif., for three years. As a physician, she now works for a privately run clinic for Utah’s transit workers and their families, according to her campaign website.
Allen is an ardent critic of Trump and blamed “extensive red-state gerrymandering around the country” for “directly [leading] to the Trump administration,” her campaign website said.
The new United Utah Party’s Jim Bennett was also on the ballot in the special election. Bennett, 49, is a freelance copywriter and marketer. He is the son of former Sen. Bob Bennett.
Libertarian Joe Buchman, Independent American candidate Jason Christensen and Sean Whalen, an unaffiliated candidate, also ran, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Russell Roesler and Brendan Phillips were write-in candidates, the newspaper reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.