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Ex-Republican launches bid for Congress as United Utah Party candidate

Dr. Joe Jarvis
Dr. Joe Jarvis
Tom Smart, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Lifelong Republican Joe Jarvis launched his bid for Congress on Thursday under a different party banner.

“On the day our current president was nominated by the Republican Party, I realized that the Republican Party had left me,” he said announcing his run in the 2nd Congressional District as a United Utah Party candidate.

Jarvis, a Salt Lake doctor and environmental health consultant, said that was confirmed to him when he watched news of a federal “invasion” of a meat packing plant to arrest and detain workers suspected of immigration violations last summer. Officials discovered that most of the immigrants had green cards and were in the country legally.

“I thought we have lost our sense of purpose in this country. The rule of law was being ignored in favor of some political objective,” he said. “At that point in time, I thought it was time for someone to stand up, so I’m running for Congress.”

GOP Rep. Chris Stewart is seeking his fifth term in the 2nd District. Other candidates include Republicans Mary Burkett, Ty Jensen and Carson Jorgensen, and Democrats Ashley Jolin, Larry Livingston and Kael Weston.

Jarvis isn’t a stranger to seeking political office. He ran as a Republican for the Utah Senate in 2006 and for the Utah House in 2008. He also served as a GOP precinct chairman, legislative district chairman, and on state and county central committees.

He lists immigration, health care and the environment among his top priorities.

Jarvis, who founded the Utah Health Policy Project, is an advocate for a better, simpler, cheaper health care system based on single-payer reform.

Jarvis earned an English degree at Brigham Young University and a medical degree from the University of Utah. He also has a master’s degree in public health. He and his wife, Annette, are the parents of five children and grandparents of seven. He recently started a travel business where he leads tours to Europe and Israel tailored to a Latter-day Saint perspective.