Utah Rep. John Curtis is not running in next year’s U.S. Senate race, saying on Monday that his job in the U.S. House of Representatives “would leave a commitment unfilled” if he were to step away now.
“When I ran for my House seat, I made a commitment to the residents of the 3rd District. We’ve accomplished a lot but my work for them is not done. I believe we need elected leaders who are more concerned about doing their job than getting the next job,” Curtis wrote in a Deseret News op-ed of his primary reason for opting out of the race on Monday.
“To walk away now would leave a commitment unfilled,” he added. “I want to finish the job.”
Adrielle Herring, a spokesperson for Curtis’ campaign, told The Salt Lake Tribune that the congressman decided over the weekend to seek reelection in the U.S. House of Representatives, and not the Senate. Curtis is opting for this path after “many hours of consultation, prayer and contemplation,” he wrote.
“He’s invested in his constituents in CD3 and knows his ability to maintain those relationships would be diluted in a statewide seat,” Herring said. “He’s also invested in the work he has undertaken in the House and wants to finish the job.”
Other factors that contributed to Curtis’ decision, he wrote, include his relationships with his family and the “long-term commitment” that would come with a six-year Senate term versus a two-year House term. He also mentioned his aversion to career politicians and his desire to serve the community in other capacities — like becoming a crossing guard — after accomplishing his goals.
Those goals center around fixing U.S. energy and climate policy, Curtis said. “I believe the path I am pursuing will put Utah at the front of the nation — and our country at the front of the world — in creating sensible, sustainable energy policy.”
When asked last week about rumors that Curtis was eyeing a Senate bid, Herring told The Tribune that “everything is pointing that direction.”
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney announced last month he would not seek reelection, and that it was “time for a new generation of leaders.”
Last week, Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson officially acknowledged he was running to replace Romney next year. So far, Wilson joins a pair of mayors — Trent Staggs of Riverton and Rod Bird of Roosevelt — in seeking the GOP’s nomination in the 2024 Senate race.