Outside money flows into Utah’s 3rd District Republican Primary

Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 20:43:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The race among Republicans to represent Utah in Congress has a distinctly non-Utah flavor.

The lion's share of money spent to influence the outcome is being spent by super PACs.

Federal Election Commission filings ask PACs to specify if the money is being spent to oppose or support a specific candidate.

The largest chunk of earmarked money is $349,050 paid by the Club for Growth and a related PAC in opposition to Provo Mayor John Curtis.

The same organizations also spent $145,600 to oppose businessman Tanner Ainge.

So why so much outside money spent on a Utah race? Marty Carpenter, a former campaign manager for Governor Gary Herbert, says it's pretty simple: Utah is the only game in town because of the special election necessitated by the resignation of Representative Jason Chaffetz.

"Frankly they have money to spend, and they want to go out and see if they can have the influence they want to have in this election," Carpenter said.

Along with money spent on negative advertising, Ainge and Herrod have also benefited from money spent to support their bids.

A super PAC called Conservative Utah has spent about $349,000 for Ainge, and the Club for Growth, among others, has spent $276,000 supporting Herrod.