Curtis leading GOP primary fundraising race; Most of Herrod and Ainge’s money from outside of Utah

Provo Mayor John Curtis is winning the money battle ahead of the August 15 GOP primary election, which is more than double his nearest rival.

Federal Election Commission filings show Curtis has more than $200,000 on hand with less than a month to go before the election. 

Curtis pulled in $132,468 in contributions so far. He also loaned his campaign $100,000, which padded his bottom line.

Former Utah Rep. Chris Herrod has just under $78,000 in his campaign account after pulling in $79,446 in donations. Herrod’s campaign appears to be quite lean as they only spent $1,578 during the current reporting period. However, his campaign has more than $17,000 in debts owed for consulting. Those vendors include former Utah Reps. Craig Frank and Ken Sumsion.

Newcomer Tanner Ainge got the second-highest total donations with $90,435 in contributions. He also spent the most of any campaign at $87,237. Ainge also made a $40,000 loan to his campaign, leaving him with $43,596 on hand.


Curtis has not spent any money on campaign staff during the last period, which is why he only spent $14,389 during the current term. 

Curtis’ campaign donations overwhelmingly came from inside Utah, while Ainge and Herrod relied primarily on out-of-state donations to their campaigns.

  • Just 11% of Curtis’ money came from outside of Utah.
  • A little more than 65% of Ainge’s donations were from outside of Utah.
  • Only 24% of Herrod’s donations were from inside Utah, which is remarkable given his long tenure in Utah politics. In fact, a sizeable portion of Herrod’s donations was facilitated by two political action committees: the House Freedom Fund and the Senate Conservatives Fund. The House Freedom Fund was founded by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan in 2015, while the Senate Conservatives Fund was established by former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint in 2008. 

Utah political observers were bracing for a tidal wave of cash to bolster Ainge’s campaign given that his father, NBA legend Danny Ainge is now the head of the NBA’s Boston Celtics, but that has not yet materialized. 

A survey from last week showed Curtis with a small lead over Herrod and Ainge, but nearly half of Republican voters in Utah’s 3rd CD were still undecided ahead of the primary. Curtis had 29% support, followed by Herrod at 12% and Ainge at 10%.

Another survey showed all three Republicans with a lead over Democrat Kathie Allen, but only Curtis gets a majority of support right now.

Ballots in the August 15 GOP primary will be mailed to voters next week.