Utah Republicans won’t just be choosing Mitt Romney’s replacement on Tuesday.

Depending on where they live, registered GOP voters will also decide the crowded five-man race to replace Rep. John Curtis in Utah’s open 3rd Congressional District seat, which covers south Salt Lake Valley, most of Utah County and all of southeastern Utah.

Or, if they live in Utah’s 2nd District, encompassing most of western Utah and portions of west Salt Lake City and Davis County, Republican voters will also weigh in on the contest between incumbent Rep. Celeste Maloy — who was recently endorsed by Donald Trump — and Colby Jenkins — who was endorsed by Sen. Mike Lee before the GOP nominating convention in April.

Here’s a preview of the two races and the seven candidates competing to be Utah’s nominees for the U.S. House of Representatives in the June 25 Republican primary election.

Who’s running in the Republican primary for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District?

Curtis’ late decision to swap a House reelection campaign for a Senate bid left many 3rd District hopefuls with just one week to launch their congressional campaigns. The time crunch wasn’t much of a disincentive. The field quickly ballooned to nine candidates.

Congressional contenders included State Sen. Mike Kennedy, former Sky Zone CEO Case Lawrence, Utah state Auditor John Dougall, Roosevelt Mayor JR Bird and commercial litigator Stewart Peay. The race narrowed to just these five candidates following the state GOP nominating convention, which Kennedy won with 61.5% of delegate support in the final round of voting.

Lawrence, Dougall, Bird and Peay each qualified for the primary ballot by gathering 7,000 signatures certified by the state.

Utah 3rd District candidates follow Rep. Curtis’ lead on energy

In a debate hosted by the Utah Debate Commission, the five candidates committed to continue Curtis’ emphasis on sustainable energy innovation that preserves a place for fossil fuels and coal.

However, the candidates diverged on Ukraine aid and federal abortion bans. Bird and Dougall said they would have voted no on the most recent tranche of Ukraine military and humanitarian aid because of concerns over spending transparency and spreading U.S. resources too thin.

Lawrence and Peay said they would have voted yes. A strong foreign policy prevents future fights, they said, and the Biden administration has projected weakness on the world stage. Kennedy said he would need to read the bill first, but he previously told the Deseret News he supported selling military resources to Ukraine to stop Russian violence from expanding.

Kennedy, who was endorsed by Sen. Mike Lee last week, has said cutting wasteful spending is his priority, particularly by reforming massive government health care programs that he knows well as a practicing physician and trained layer. He also cites conservative wins in the state legislature as proof he will stand up on culture war issues.

Sen. Mike Lee wants to remake the Republican Party. Will it backfire?

Lawrence has promoted a message of optimism, saying his background in founding the largest trampoline park company in the world, based in Provo, has prepared him to restore the American dream. The candidate said he wants to lead on correcting Congress’ budget process and returning order to the border.

Bird sees the election as a job interview and presents his experience in small-town leadership, the energy sector and agriculture as qualifications for representing the 3rd District, which is known for its coal country, oil fields and uranium processing plant. He has called for comprehensive energy legislation to avoid the policy pendulum between presidential administrations.

Dougall says the GOP needs to become the party of ideas again to get the country from where it is now — with $34.5 trillion in debt — to a more “frugal” limited government. Dougall says he has plans to rescue Social Security and get the federal government out of health care. He has framed himself as an “anti-MAGA” option.

Peay is a veteran who has taken a firm stance on continued support for Ukraine. Peay was endorsed by former 2nd District Rep. Chris Stewart a week before the GOP convention. Last month, Peay received the endorsement of Sen. Mitt Romney, his uncle-in-law. He has said he wants to mimic the senator’s bipartisanship, Curtis’ pragmatism and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s civility.

What happened in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District between Celeste Maloy and Colby Jenkins?

Maloy won a special election in 2023 to replace Stewart, her former boss, in Utah’s 2nd District.

During her first term, Maloy has introduced legislation — with Lee — to transfer some federal lands to Utah, passed a bill to improve government programs for women-owned small businesses, has pushed the Justice Department to crack down on teen vaping and has voted against further military aid to Ukraine.

But following Maloy’s votes on bipartisan budget bills and government surveillance reauthorization — and after an in-depth interview with Maloy’s challenger, Jenkins — Utah Sen. Mike Lee broke his longstanding policy and weighed in on a Utah congressional primary for the first time.

The Beehive State’s senior senator endorsed Jenkins a few days before the GOP nominating convention, which Jenkins won, 57%-43%, nearly ousting the convention-only incumbent.

Rep. Celeste Maloy and Colby Jenkins spar in Utah 2nd District debate

In the days since, Lee has gone all in for Jenkins, playing an instrumental role in securing endorsements, like that of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., filming video ads, making supportive social media posts, sending out fundraising emails and stumping for the political newcomer at campaign events.

Jenkins, has vowed to join the House Freedom Caucus if elected and says he will bring the same commitment to office that he did as a former U.S. Army Special Forces Green Beret colonel.

During a debate hosted by the Utah Debate Commission, Jenkins accused Maloy of failing to lead by compromising with Democrats. Maloy defended her votes, saying that knowing how to take a hard yes vote, instead of a perpetual no vote, in divided government is the essence of good leadership and called Jenkins’ talking points “naive.”

Utah’s all-Republican House delegation circled the wagons around Maloy, giving her their official endorsement soon after the debate. But the endorsement that most stands out against Lee’s is that of former Pres. Donald Trump, who announced his support for Maloy’s reelection last Monday.

Glenn Beck explains why Sen. Lee and Trump fall on opposite sides of Utah, Virginia endorsements

A Trump endorsement makes nearly 4 out of 10 Utah Republican primary voters more likely to support a candidate in the House race, the Deseret News recently reported. A similar portion of registered primary-voting Republicans are not impacted by a Trump endorsement, while one-fifth of Republican voters say it pushes them away from a candidate, the Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll found.

When can I vote for the Republican primary in Utah?

Ballots were sent out to active registered Republican voters between June 4 and June 18. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day — by the end of the day on Monday. Mail-in ballots may also be deposited in drop boxes or at any in-person vote center by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters can also vote in-person on Election Day between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. A valid ID is required. You can find out where, when and how to vote in your area by visiting this page on the Vote.Utah.gov website.

The winners of Tuesday’s primary elections will face Democratic and third-party nominees in the general election on Nov. 5.

Here’s a guide to our 2024 primary coverage
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