POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

The race to fill Mitt Romney’s senate seat is getting expensive

Apr 17, 2024, 6:00 AM | Updated: 2:15 pm

Senate candidates Brad Wilson, John Curtis, Jason Walton and Brent Orrin Hatch....

Senate candidates Brad Wilson, John Curtis, Jason Walton and Brent Hatch. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News/Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News/Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The senate candidates vying for Mitt Romney’s seat are forking over a lot of money ahead of this month’s state conventions.

“Some senate candidates are able to loan their campaign some money. It’s not entirely uncommon, but we have some pretty decent amounts coming into this race from some of the candidates,” said Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinkley Institute of Politics. 

Filings from the Federal Election Commission this week revealed some of the top-dollar earners so far. 

Former State House Speaker Brad Wilson has made about $4.8 million, a sum that includes a large loan from himself.

Moxie Pest Control CEO Jason Walton has accumulated about $2.8 million, but about $2.5 million is self-funded.

Congressman John Curtis has raised about $3 million, which includes money leftover from his former Congressional bid. He pointed out that his campaign is being funded by supporters.

“This campaign is not about self-funded bids for office; it’s about listening, understanding, and then acting on the concerns of Utahns,” Curtis said. “The trust and investment from our supporters across the state are what drive this campaign forward. Every dollar raised is a statement of trust and a commitment to mutual goals for our future.”

Attorney Brent Hatch, son of Utah’s longest-serving senator, Orrin Hatch, has collected about $1.2 million for his campaign.

“This looks like it could be the most expensive senate race we’ve had in Utah history, particularly where we are at in the election cycle. We haven’t even had the convention,” said Perry. 

The GOP state party convention will happen on April 27th. 

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The race to fill Mitt Romney’s senate seat is getting expensive