GOP rep wins primary against Trump-backed candidate in race to replace Romney

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U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah (Video screenshot)
U.S. Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah

By Rebeka Zeljko
Daily Caller News Foundation

Rep. John Curtis won the Republican Senate primary in Utah on Tuesday against Trump-endorsed Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs and former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, the Associated Press projected.

Curtis, who has served in Congress since 2017, won against Staggs and Wilson, according the AP projection. Curtis is now favored to win former Republican presidential nominee and Sen. Mitt Romney’s seat following his retirement.

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Curtis, who was favored to win in many polls, was briefly registered as a Democrat and ran an unsuccessful campaign against Republican candidate Curt Bramble in 2000 for state Senate, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. He returned to the Republic Party in 2007 and has remained in the GOP since then.

Despite polling significantly behind Curtis, Staggs was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and other influential Republicans, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Trump praised Staggs for being “MAGA all the way” and said Staggs “is all about America First” in a video endorsement.

Staggs was also endorsed by the Utah Republican Party, winning the most votes at the state convention just hours after earning Trump’s endorsement, according to Politico.

Ahead of the voting, Curtis led Staggs by 20 points according to a Noble Predictive Insights poll from June, and was leading Wilson by 23 points according to a June HarrisX poll.

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