ST. GEORGE — Over 100 Utahns have filed to run for various public offices this year, including a sitting congressman and the son of a former senator seeking to replace outgoing Sen. Mitt Romney.

In this file photo, then Provo Mayor John Curtis celebrates with his family after winning Utah’s Republican primary to fill the U.S. House seat vacated by Jason Chaffetz. Curtis also won the Nov. 7 general election, Provo, Utah, Aug. 15, 2017 | Associated Press photo by Rick Bowmer, St. George News

Republican Rep. John Curtis, who has represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District since 2017, announced he was running for Senate on KSL-TV Tuesday evening.

Curtis told KSL he had originally given some thought to run for Romney’s seat last fall but felt it was better to keep his commitment to the residents of the third district. He went on to write in an Op-Ed published by Deseret News that he would be “leaving commitments unfulfilled” if he left to run for the Senate.

However, the congressman has since changed his mind, saying he believes he can better serve the people of Utah as their next senator.

“As a father and grandfather, I care deeply about Utah’s future,” Curtis said in a statement released Wednesday morning. “That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for U.S. Senate. We need to get America back on track and as your Senator, I will keep fighting reckless spending in both parties and work hard every day to make Utah an even better place.”

Before being elected to Congress in 2017, Curtis served as the mayor of Provo for seven years.

Also filing to run for Senate on Tuesday was Brent Orrin Hatch, son of late Sen. Orrin Hatch, who retired after 42 years in office in 2019 and died in 2022.

Brent Hatch is a trial lawyer who is treasurer and past director of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization that advocates interpreting the U.S. Constitution according to the context in which it was written.

Brent Orrin Hatch, son of the late Sen. Orrin Hatch, has filed to run for the Senate seat his father held for over 40 years, location and date of photo unspecified | Photo courtesy of the Hatch Law Group, St. George News

He was an associate White House counsel under President George H.W. Bush and a Utah delegate to the 2004 Republican National Convention.

“I have worked for over 33 years here in Utah as a lawyer protecting the rights of individuals and companies,” Hatch said in a news release. “But, I still have an insider’s knowledge of the highest levels of government.”

He touts himself as not being a “professional politician” and went on to say that the federal government cannot continue to operate as it has for many years now.

“We must take the budget, inflation and securing our borders more seriously,” he said. “We need to elect people who have had real jobs, had to make payrolls and are not wed to lobbyists and the political class – people who speak plainly and use common sense.”

Romney, 76, announced in September he won’t seek a second term in the Senate, saying it was time for younger leaders to step in. Romney also served as governor of Massachusetts and was the 2012 Republican nominee for president.

Former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson speaks at a town hall meeting held during a visit to Washington County to support his run for the U.S. Senate, Washington City, Utah, Dec. 18, 2023 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Romney is among several Republicans who opposed former President Donald Trump and have been voted out or not sought re-election.

As for Wednesday afternoon, Curtis and Brent Hatch join former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs, Clark S. White and Chandler H. Tanner in filing to run for the Republican nomination for the Senate.

Other Utah Republicans who have expressed an intent to run for Romney’s seat include Roosevelt Mayor Rod Bird, former Sen. Mike Lee staffer Carolyn Phippen and accountant Josh Randall.

Other filed candidates include Democrat Archie A. Williams III and Independent American Robert Newcomb.

Republicans carry a substantial advantage in Utah, outnumbering Democrats by a more than 3-to-1 margin.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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