The GOP primary includes a Palin-backed candidate, a Cruz/Paul-backed candidate, and the incumbent mayor of Provo, the district’s largest city.
While the Alabama Senate primary is garnering much political attention, another GOP primary is taking place Tuesday out in the Mountain West.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) announced his retirement earlier this spring, which triggered a special election to determine his replacement. The conservative district, Utah’s Third Congressional District, picked its Democratic nominee in June. The winner of that contest, physician Kathie Allen, was chosen at a party convention.
Republicans also held a convention where State Rep. Chris Herrod won, but two additional candidates submitted enough signatures to qualify for the primary ballot.
Herrod will compete against businessman Tanner Ainge, the son of Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge. Ainge, 33, is being supported by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
The other man in the race is John Curtis, the mayor of Provo – the district’s largest city. Curtis has the support of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the Salt Lake Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper. Curtis has held double-digit leads in two polls so far.
Herrod has earned the backing of U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Paul (R-KY), two conservative senators whose views often align with Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who has not made an endorsement in the race.
The winner of Tuesday’s primary will face off against Allen in the general election, held November 7. That contest’s winner will serve out the remainder of Chaffetz’s term.
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