Congressional race gets crowded as Provo Mayor joins candidates

PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Provo Mayor John Curtis is the latest to join the race for Utah's 3rd Congressional Seat being vacated by Congressman Jason Chaffetz. Experts note the crowed field will make for an interesting primary process.

Mayor Curtis made his announcement in Provo in front of supporters at The Bell Room. He told the crowd it took him awhile to make his decision, and admits others in the race have a head start.

"I spent a long time trying to decide if this was the right thing to do," Mayor Curtis told the crowd. "So long that the other candidates got a jump in a very short time period."

The Curtis campaign has to gather 7,000 signatures in two and half weeks in order to get his name on the August 15th primary ballot. Curtis said he will also try to win the Republican nomination at convention which is what several other candidates are doing.

Jason Perry is the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah. He said this is the most candidates he's seen in a local congressional race.

With a field of more than a dozen candidates, and a short election window. Perry said candidates can't waste time getting out to campaign.

"There is no time for a boot camp here this is full on into the tranches going into Washington D.C.," said Perry.

He notes the candidates will also have to find ways to standout from the crowded field of opponents.

"We have a range of political philosophies, but how do I distinguish myself, and that's what all of them are going to think about the Democrats and the Republicans."

Perry said it will be interesting to see what impact the newly formed United Utah Party will have on the race. The group is trying to take a moderate stance, and could affect both the Republican and Democratic races.

The Republicans and Democrats will select their candidates in mid June, but those who collect enough signatures will also be on the primary ballot on August 15th.

The general election will be held on November 7th.

Here is a full list of the candidates who have officially entered the race. The last day to register is May 26th.

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