What to watch for in 3rd Congressional District primary

Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – The field is set for the Republican primary in Utah's 3rd Congressional District.

The candidates are hoping to take over for Representative Jason Chaffetz, who is leaving midterm.

Three candidates are on the primary ballot. A surprise convention winner, and two who took the signature route.

Former state representative Chris Herrod secured his spot on the ballot by out dueling 10 other candidates at convention on Saturday.

He sold delegates, in part on his international experience.

"Putin outplayed the previous administration, and unfortunately I think he's outplaying many of the democrats and mainstream media currently, because we are not talking about the things that are really important to this nation," said Herrod.

Provo Mayor John Curtis was on the ballot before convention even started, because he gathered signatures.

"I bring a different set of experiences, and skill sets to this that you don't generally see, and that's ultimately why I decided to run. What I've done in the business world combined with the government sector really is a unique situation," said Curtis.

Political newcomer, Tanner Ainge rounds out the ballot. He also gathered signatures.

Jason Perry is the Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. He says it's a broad field for voters to choose from.

"We have a very conservative candidate in Chris Herrod. Burnished those credentials in the legislature, people know him, and his policies and where he stands. And I would say he's the most conservative of the three. John Curtis, a well known mayor, more moderate in tone, but also with a great history and record to look at. And one candidate, people know the last name, but not a lot of political experience, and people just don't know where he is on those issues," said Perry.

Perry says it will come down to which candidate can build trust in a very short amount of time.

He says a key to watch is how it plays out between conservative and moderate voters.

"The real question right now is what impact does Ainge and Curtis have on each other. Do they just split votes with the overwhelming majority going to Chris Herrod? That's really what we are looking to see," Perry said.

The primary is August 15, 2017.

The winner will take on Dr. Kathy Allen in November. She won the Democratic nomination over the weekend.


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