Tim Zeidner, director of research and evaluation at the Mormon Missionary Training Center in Provo, has been selected as the United Utah Party candidate in the 3rd Congressional District.

“I’m thrilled to be in this race and help move this party forward,” Zeidner said in a prepared statement. “The principles of the United Utah Party represent the majority of the people of Utah, and it’s only a matter of time before we reach critical mass.”

The party was formed last year as a moderate alternative for voters disillusioned by the polarization and extremism of the major parties.

Zeidner, a Cedar Hills resident, replaces Melanie McCoard, who recently withdrew her candidacy because of health concerns.

He faces incumbent Republican Rep. John Curtis, Democrat James Courage Singer and Independent American Gregory Duerden in the Nov. 6 election.

Zeidner was picked in a special meeting of party members Tuesday night at the Provo City Library. Also running for the replacement spot were Ben Bramhall, of Orem, and Rebecca Ortinez of Provo.

“This was our first contested race,” Richard Davis, party chairman, said. “Three fine candidates stepped forward, and Tim Zeidner won on the first ballot.”

The United Utah Party has fielded candidates in every House race this year except the 4th Congressional District.