SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Herrod, the candidate in the 3rd Congressional District primary who advanced to the ballot by GOP delegates, likes to spell out that he’s not just a Republican but a platform Republican.
“If you look at the Republican platform, I believe in all those planks,” Herrod, a member of the Utah GOP’s governing State Central Committee, recently said during a combined meeting of the Deseret News and KSL editorial boards.
Herrod said he gets frustrated because in Utah, “we’re kind of a passive-aggressive society sometimes. We all like to smile, but we think that comparing records is negative campaigning.”
The former state lawmaker said he is the only one of the three Republicans in the Aug. 15 primary with “a consistent, conservative record” from his time in the Utah House and his bids for both the U.S. Senate and the state Senate.
Herrod challenged Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in 2012, but it was another Republican, Dan Liljenquist, who forced Hatch into his first primary since 1976. Four years ago, Herrod pushed state Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, into a primary, then lost.
Both of his congressional opponents, Provo Mayor John Curtis and Alpine lawyer Tanner Ainge, are campaigning as conservatives, although Curtis was once a Democrat years ago, and Ainge has no previous political experience.
“I always got beat up on (Utah’s Capitol) Hill for being conservative in the off year. But whenever we would have an election, then everybody is conservative,” Herrod said. “Everybody wants to use that term.”
Curtis and Ainge both qualified for the primary ballot by gathering voter signatures. Curtis also competed for the party delegate nomination that went to Herrod, who had backed a GOP challenge to the law creating the alternative path to the…