Provo Mayor John Curtis ‘feeling more & more’ like running for Congress

PROVO, Utah -- The mayor of one of the largest cities in the state is considering a run at the congressional seat soon to be vacated by Rep. Jason Chaffetz.

Mayor John Curtis announced Thursday he's strongly considering running, and political experts say if he does he'd be a powerful player. But Mayor Curtis says he's still weighing his pros and cons.

“I think the main thing is: Why? What is my mission? What would I hope to accomplish? Trying to define what that answer is in my own heart and making sure that's a good answer,” Curtis said.

After Chafettz set his resignation date, Mayor Curtis took to Twitter, saying: "in the coming days Sue and I will come to a decision about whether or not to run for congress.”

He spoke to Fox 13 News later in the day.

“This is bizarre timing; it's not something I had anticipated, that's why it's taking me so long to think through and see if it's the right thing,” Curtis said.

It was just months ago when Curtis said he wasn't going to run for a third term as myaor. His plan was to go back to the private sector. But then Chafettz decided to step down.

“That's one of the things that is interesting, it's as if everything has been orchestrated, but, of course, when I decided I wasn't going to run again I had no idea it would play out this way,” Curtis said.

When Chafettz initially said he wasn't going to run again back in April, a Crowdpac was started to get Curtis to campaign for Congress.

“Mayor Curtis is a very popular candidate, he's a great mayor, he's beloved in Utah County; if he decides to throw his hat in the ring I think he'd be a very credible challenge,” said Jason Perry, Director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Perry says the key to the seat could be name recognition, an advantage other candidates will also have. But right now it's notably Curtis, Deidre Henderson and Evan McMullin.

“I think they're going to have a little bit of advantage now because people know them, they've been talking about it, and they've been raising money,” Perry said.

But he also points out, it’s still early in the game.

“I'm not sure I can say someone has an advantage over someone else, it's just too new, there are too many names that are going to come forward,” Perry said.

When FOX 13 asked Mayor Curtis when he was going to know if he’ll run he said, “I’m close. I don’t have an exact date, but the last week or so I’ve come a long ways in my thinking and I don’t think we’re too far away."