Few times in my life have been as gratifying as the last few weeks have been as I have considered a run for the U.S. Senate. I will always be thankful to so many who reached out to encourage me. Even considering a run for such an important office is an honor. To be viewed as a serious candidate has been exciting and humbling.  

I have always known that trust is built on clear intentions, so it’s important that the residents of the state know and understand my plans. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain not only my intent but also the reasons for my decision.

After many hours of consultation, prayer and contemplation, I have decided to stay out of the U.S. Senate race at this time. 

My first reason for not jumping into the U.S. Senate race is very important to me. When I ran for my House seat, I made a commitment to the residents of the 3rd District. We’ve accomplished a lot but my work for them is not done. I believe we need elected leaders who are more concerned about doing their job than getting the next job. To walk away now would leave a commitment unfilled. I want to finish the job.

Second, I’ve never liked career politicians. Imagine my discomfort when I woke up one day and saw that I had become one. I got involved in politics to challenge the establishment, to replace entrenched incumbents and make way for fresh ideas. I invested considerable energy in shaking things up. The founders never intended for the United States of America to be run by career politicians. My integrity requires me to be true to the principles our nation was founded on, principles I deeply believe. When I’ve accomplished what I set out to do in the House, it will be time for me to find other ways to serve my community. (A crossing guard might be a lot of fun.)

Third, if one is not careful, serving in D.C. will drain a little bit of a person’s soul each day. It happens so slowly that even those close to us don’t see it. It can pull at the emotional, spiritual and physical health of anyone who spends too much time in that environment. It becomes easier and easier to justify actions we disapproved of before arriving in D.C. Some of my congressional colleagues think it’s more important to be a good politician than a good person. I aspire to be a good person.

Fourth, I’m getting things done for Utah in the House. I was recently named the ninth most effective Republican in that body. My staff was recently recognized as the No. 1 congressional office for accessibility and accountability. My team and I have worked very hard for the last six years to become effective in the House. It’s now time to make this investment count by pursuing my priorities with resolve.

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I have begun a movement that corrects the climate and energy mistakes of the past and puts us on the right course. I believe the path I am pursuing will put Utah at the front of the nation — and our country at the front of the world — in creating sensible, sustainable energy policy. I’ve realized that the best policies for the environment are also the best policies for the U.S. economy, for national security and for energy independence. I am working to make the U.S. not just energy independent, but energy dominant. 

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Much of the economy of the 3rd District is based on coal, oil and gas. The good people who work in these industries have been told for too long that they are the problem. I believe they are actually part of the solution. 

Finally, my marriage is great. My relationships with my kids, their spouses and my grandkids are great. And I want these relationships to be better. It’s the most important responsibility I have in this lifetime. Making a long-term commitment to serve in the Senate is not in harmony with my personal priorities.

I would like to express, one more time, my appreciation to those who have encouraged me and expressed confidence in me. It means more than you could know. I hope Utahns will understand and appreciate my reasons for wanting to stay the course.

John Curtis represents Utah’s 3rd Congressional District

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