Voters to pick nominee Tuesday for GOP Congressional candidate

Posted at 10:15 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 11:45:20-04

PROVO, Utah — The eve of the primary election, voters' final hours to decide who they will pick for a nominee for the special election in November to replace former Congressman Jason Chaffetz.

“It's a huge day. It's sort of an unprecedented day in the state of Utah, first time in our history that we're putting in a new member of Congress midterm,” said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Utahns and people around the country are keeping a close eye on what voters in the 3rd District will decide.

“Going into this primary tomorrow, it's still too close to call because it all depends on the turnout,” Perry said.

Provo Mayor John Curtis, former state legislator Chris Herrod and businessman Tanner Ainge are all in the running.

The three candidates who will be on the GOP ballot for the Republican Primary Election spent the day making calls, knocking on door after door and handing out fliers in an effort to earn votes.

Polls throughout the summer show Curtis pulling ahead, but recently the race is becoming tighter.

“We've been watching this race very closely. John Curtis has stayed above 38 percent but we've seen the other candidates, Chris Herrod in particular, get those undecided voters,” Perry said.

Ainge's campaign is also working hard to win over the undecided voters.

“The 3rd District is the race to watch right now in the country," Perry said. "People are watching what happens here, see how it impacts members of our Congress and House of Representatives."

This race is unique. It's the first time in Utah a Congressional race will be combined with municipal races. It's also the first time Utah County is offering mail-in ballots.

Political experts are also anxious to see how the influx of campaign ads funded from out-of-state Political Action Committees will impact voters.

“Every vote matters in this particular race. That's proven by the fact they are so close together. You want to have an impact, show up and vote,” Perry said.

Political experts say Utah’s 3rd District is one of the most red districts in the state and in the country. It’s likely whoever wins the primary election will have an advantage going into the general election in November.