Five Republican challengers for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District to face off on the issues

Jun 12, 2024, 6:05 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

The GOP primary candidates running for Utah's 3rd Congressional District, from left to right: John ...

The GOP primary candidates running for Utah's 3rd Congressional District, from left to right: John Dougal (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News), Stewart Peay (Laura Seitz, Deseret News), Mike Kennedy, (Megan Nielsen, Deseret News), Case Lawrence (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News), J.R. Bird (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY –  Five Republican candidates running to become the GOP nominee for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District will debate Wednesday night at 6 p.m.

Republican Rep. John Curtis is vacating Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat and running for U.S. Senate.


The candidates are:

  • Roosevelt Mayor J.R. Bird,
  • Utah State Auditor John Dougall,
  • State Sen. Mike Kennedy,
  • entrepreneur Case Lawrence and 
  • former Utah County Republican Party Chairman Stewart Peay.

Where GOP primary candidates for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District stand on immigration

  • Kennedy endorses completing the southern border wall and using the latest surveillance technology to monitor the U.S.-Mexico.
  • Bird also supports a wall at the border. He said the next president should deem drug cartels operating at the border as terrorist organizations.
  • Peay said that, if elected, he will “strongly” support border-enforcement policies and patrol agents.
  • Dougall said he would strengthen the border and national defense.
  • Case Lawerence told Deseret News: ” … there is more political will to reform the country’s immigration system than ever before.”

The GOP primary candidates for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District on the economy

  • Kennedy said he would grow the economy and move toward energy independence. He also seeks to cut unnecessary regulations for job creators.
  • Bird said he would bring stability to energy producers by adopting a long-term energy policy. He would also reactivate liquid natural gas permitting and exploration on federal lands. 
  • Peay said he would support small businesses and lower taxes to revive the economy. If elected, he vowed to push for a balanced budget amendment every year he’s in Congress.
  • Lawrence told the Daily Herald: As an entrepreneur, ” . . . I know how to create jobs. I will take this experience with me to Washington, D.C. to be a leader on economic growth.”
  • Dougall said reckless spending is fueling inflation. Every U.S. family’s financial health and the nation’s economic strength are being diluted by “Congress effectively printing too much money.”

Abortion: Where GOP primary candidates for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District stand

  • Kennedy said he was “100%” anti-abortion in his voting record as a state senator. He said his policies protect the vulnerable and affirm life’s value from conception to the natural end of life.
  • Bird said he is an anti-abortion candidate and advocates adoption reforms that make it easier for children to find families.
  • Peay said he supports the landmark Dobbs decision. He would support abortion for limited circumstances, such as rape, incest or preserving a mother’s health.
  • “Now that Roe v Wade has been overturned, I believe it is important to let abortion restrictions and legislation play out at the state level,” Lawrence told The Salt Lake Tribune.
  • Dougall does not support a national abortion ban, but supports restrictions at the state level, adding the same exceptions for rape, incest and preserving a mother’s health.

How to listen to the debate

KSL NewsRadio will carry the debate live. beginning at 6 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, July 12, 2024. Listen on 102.7 FM or 1160 AM, and stream on KSL NewsRadio’s website or YouTube channel.

Related reading: Utah Republican primary election debate schedule for 2024

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Five Republican challengers for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District to face off on the issues