John Curtis Republican candidate for special Congressional election

U.S. Congressional Candidate John Curtis is Provo mayor, a business entrepreneur and a father of six. His key platform points are healthcare, immigration and tax reform. (Gina Robie)

Editor’s note: Candidates’ progress in the polls was taken from the Salt Lake Tribune’s most recent poll from Oct. 9-16.

Provo Mayor John Curtis is business entrepreneur and father of six and is bringing all of his experience as the Republican nominee. Curtis currently sits at 46 percent heading into the election.


According to his campaign website, Curtis got his political start in 1977 by helping his mother run for the Granite School Board. He was later the student body president at Skyline High School, where in 1978 he met his future wife, Sue Snarr. He served a two-year LDS mission in Taiwan starting in 1980, and proposed to Sue upon returning in 1982.

Curtis graduated from BYU in 1986 and began a business career that took his growing family from Utah to Virginia and California as he worked for Citizen Watch and O.C. Tanner. The Curtis family welcomed their sixth child in 1998.

In 2000, Curtis moved his family back to Provo in order to join several partners in building Action Target, a gun range manufacturing company.


Curtis said his qualifications come from being a successful business owner and from his experiences as Provo mayor.

“I felt like (running for Congress) was an important opportunity to take advantage of my experience as Provo mayor and to use everything that I’d learned to take back Washington and see if I could make a difference,” he said.

Curtis was elected to his first term as Provo mayor in 2009 when he beat former state legislator Steve Clark with 53 percent of the vote, according to the Deseret News.

The Daily Herald reported last year on a number of successes and struggles during his tenure, from the Provo airport’s expansion and Google Fiber joining the city, to dealing with budget cuts and the police department’s extensive audit after a former officer incident involving sexual abuse allegations, as well as another that included a disorderly conduct charge.

He announced his candidacy for Congress in May 2017 and has since been endorsed by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Mitt Romney.

Key platform points

“I think people are most concerned about three things,” Curtis said. “Healthcare, immigration and tax reform, and those are the ones I’m hearing about the most when I’m out talking to people.”

According to his campaign website, Curtis wants:

  • Healthcare: A free market healthcare system, Obamacare fixed or repealed.
  • Immigration: A streamlined immigration process, secured American borders, tougher action against immigrants who commit multiple or serious crimes, chances for immigrants to make restitution (though he does not believe in amnesty).
  • Tax reform: A reformed tax system where one demographic doesn’t pay taxes while the other does, tax relief and regulatory reform for both individuals and businesses, cuts in the federal government’s spending.

What BYU students should know

Curtis said if he’s elected, BYU students should expect him to do in Washington what he’s done in Provo.

“Good outreach, good communication, dealing with things that are important to them in a way that they feel validated and like somebody listens to them,” he said. “And so I think particularly in my case, they probably know better than any other candidate what to expect.”

He also hopes they’ll look at his campaign website.

“I’d love their support,” he said.

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