“We’re rewarding the wrong behavior”; Rep. John Curtis shares vision for U.S. Senate 

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a Review exclusive, Representative John Curtis (R-UT3) sat down with Editor-In-Chief Matthew Drachman about what he hopes to achieve in his campaign. During the conversation, The Review discussed education, the federal debt, climate change and other topics.

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Video by Hyrum Hatch and Tanner Koster

John Curtis, representative for Utah’s 3rd congressional district and candidate for U.S. Senate, sat down with The Review to converse about his views and vision for the future. 

Curtis made a surprise announcement on Jan. 3 that he would run for Utah’s Senate Seat that was now open due to Senator Romney not seeking re-election. At several points, it was unclear whether he would join the race with reversals and rumors of his interest

“It was a hard decision for me,” Curtis remarked during The Review’s interview. “Part of that was, ‘Can we do better?’ and can John Curtis, can what I have, that I would bring to the table be better and help this country?” 

The Senate race in Utah has been populated since Senator Romney announced back in September that he would not seek re-election. Currently, other contenders include Riverton City Mayor Trent Staggs, former Senator Lee Staff Carolyn Phippen, and Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson

“Listen, if you have seen the polling, you know we are in a good spot,” Curtis remarked about the state of the race. “I want to be careful though, I don’t want to be the candidate that blows a big lead…. We like our chances.” 

During the interview, Curtis shared his thoughts on how to get legislation passed. He expressed the importance of relationships with his colleagues to get things done in Washington. Curtis shared how he has made friends across the aisle, which have helped him work through ideological differences in legislation, and coming out of it with a bill both could agree on. 

“It is true that we are highly dysfunctional,” Curtis asserted. “It is also true that there are hundreds of people who are not like that. [There] are 435 of us, there are some on the right, and some on the left that are on this cycle of ‘I got to get on the news tonight, how am I going to do that?’ But there are hundreds of people who wake up and say, ‘I am going to do what’s best for my country.’… Those are the untold stories [of Washington].” 

Curtis also expressed how polarization has affected the voter’s taste. “We are rewarding the wrong behavior. The voting populace … love the person who ends up on TV. They will send him money, he will get the TV time, and the men and women who are working won’t get that attention…. Part of what is wrong is that we are rewarding the wrong behavior.” 

Leading from that, Curtis talked about the issues facing the federal debt the country is accumulating, saying both sides of the aisle must be better at saying no. He used this as an example of politicians rewarding bad behavior. 

“Republicans love to whine about Democrat spending,” Curtis pointed out when asked if America was addicted to deficit spending. “If we’re honest, trillions of those dollars were picked up under President Trump and Republicans spent too much even when we had the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. We’re rewarding the wrong behavior; that is where that addiction is coming from.” 

The Review’s interview covered climate change (16:14), federal lands (22:20), education (27:15) and the Supreme Court (32:00). Make sure to watch the full interview to hear all that was said! 

To find out more about John Curtis and his campaign, visit his campaign website