Curtis continues to lead GOP primary fundraising; Ainge spent $81,000 on signatures

Provo Mayor John Curtis continues to lead the fundraising race in the GOP primary in Utah’s 3rd Congressional District. 

According to the latest financial filings, Curtis has $106,456 in his bank account with less than two weeks to go before election day. Political newcomer Tanner Ainge is close behind with $96,452 while former Utah Rep. Chris Herrod is lagging behind with $89,593 in his coffers.

The FEC reports cover the month of July, from the first until the 28th.

Curtis pulled in $138,828 in donations during the most recent filing period, which is way ahead of Ainge’s donations of $76,419 and more than double Herrod’s $58,801. 


Curtis’ fundraising haul during July includes $7,500 in PAC money. The political action committees for FedEx, Nu Skin, and Pacificorp each donated $2,500 to Curtis. Not included in the July report, but noted in a 48-hour filing, the National Association of Home Builders donated $1,000 to Curtis.

Herrod also got $2,500 in PAC donations from the Conservative Leadership PAC in Virginia. Additionally, Herrod has pulled in some big bucks from PACs in the last few days according to 48-hour filings. The Citizens Organized PAC, a pro-Israel group, donated $3,500 to Herrod and the Community Bancshares of Mississippi PAC added another $2,500.

Ainge received $1,000 from the Middle Ground PAC, which is affiliated with former Illinois Rep. Tim Johnson, a Republican.

So far this election cycle, Curtis has reeled in $271,296 for his campaign, $110,000 more than his nearest rival. Ainge has raised $166,854 so far this year while Herrod raised $138,247.

Curtis has ramped up his campaign spending this cycle, too. He spent $250,450 during the month of July, which brings his total expenditures so far to $264,839. His biggest expenses were for campaign consulting and advertising. His campaign spent $80,418 with two political consulting firms and $150,781 on advertising. Curtis’ filing also shows he has an additional campaign debt for $17,760 with a consulting firm.

Tanner Ainge, who got on the primary ballot through the petition route, spent $81,000 on that effort with an Ogden signature gathering company. Ainge submitted nearly 9,000 signatures to secure his place on the ballot, meaning he spent approximately $9 per signature to get into the August election.

Herrod spent $47,074 in July on his campaign, with most of that ($38,000) going toward a television spot. However, Herrod still has $66,788 in unpaid bills which includes $39,288 for campaign mailers, $17,500 for a TV spot and another $10,000 for website design and hosting.

Polls have given Curtis a lead over his two Republican rivals, while a significant number of voters remain undecided. Ballots went out to voters last week, although some independent voters got ballots for the closed Republican primary in Utah and Wasatch County.

All three candidates have scored significant endorsements in their chase for the GOP nomination. Most notably, Curtis was endorsed by Gov. Gary Herbert, Ainge touts the stamp of approval of former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin while Herrod has been given the thumbs up by Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.