Rep. John Curtis is “very seriously” thinking about running for Sen. Mitt Romney’s seat in the U.S. Senate.

In a phone call with the Deseret News Wednesday, Curtis said: “I would not be honest if I said I wasn’t interested in an opportunity to serve in the U.S. Senate and that I wasn’t taking this very seriously and looking at the possibility, and I’ll leave it at that.”

If Curtis launches a campaign, he would join a growing list of candidates, which includes Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs and former Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson, who is expected to announce his campaign Wednesday.

Former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz has been floated as a potential candidate, as has Tim Ballard, founder and former CEO of Operation Underground Railroad. Ballard is facing a slew of bad press about his time with Operation Underground Railroad, but said earlier he was thinking about jumping in the race.

Curtis’ campaign manager, Adrielle Herring, said the 3rd District representative has “the fire in the belly” to run for Senate. His campaign team appears optimistic and “gung-ho” about the possibility of a run, she added.

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Herring said the team has been in full gear since Romney announced he was retiring and not seeking a second term two weeks ago.

Curtis’ campaign has conducted polls and the results were “very encouraging,” said Herring. In these polls, Curtis was the front-runner in every matchup against those already in the race and those with the potential to jump in.

“If I could be any candidate in this race, I’d want to be John Curtis,” she said

Herring said Curtis is an effective leader, which is why his office ranked No. 1 for accessibility and accountability out of 435 congressional offices. 

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“So the final decision is coming down to, where would he be in the best position to keep getting things done for Utah?” she said, adding that his decision should come soon.

Back in April, when Wilson launched an exploratory committee for a 2024 run, Herring told the Deseret News that Curtis was laser-focused on serving in the House.

“Congressman Curtis has worked hard to become one of the most effective lawmakers in the U.S. House, where he is widely respected,” she said at the time. “Since he doesn’t plan to be in Congress forever, he wants to make his time count.”

Contributing: Brigham Tomco and Suzanne Bates

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