State Sen. Mike Kennedy begins exploratory committee for congressional run

By Carlene Coombs – | Dec 15, 2023

Utah State Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, speaks with reporters on the opening day of the Utah Legislative Session at the Utah State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Salt Lake City. Kennedy, a Republican family doctor sponsoring the Utah proposal, told reporters that it didn’t make sense that health care policy related to gender and youth, which is at times irreversible, would be subject to no government oversight.

Utah state Sen. Mike Kennedy announced he has formed an exploratory committee to consider running for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District.

“Our nation is at a pivotal moment, facing a staggering debt crisis, eroding freedoms, and a lack of common sense and civility in policy-making,” Kennedy said in a press release on Friday. “I am exploring a Congressional bid because now more than ever, we need conservatives who can work with others to confront these issues head-on, bringing fiscal restraint, enhanced border security, and common sense leadership to Washington.”

U.S. Rep. John Curtis currently holds the congressional seat but, in November, showed renewed interest in running for U.S. Senate to replace Mitt Romney. Curtis has yet to officially join the Senate race.

Curtis’ campaign had not responded to a request for comment as of late Friday morning.

According to the press release, Utah Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, and Utah House Speaker Mike Shultz, R-Hooper, are “early supporters” of Kennedy’s committee.

The Alpine Republican is known for sponsoring controversial legislation this year to ban gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and surgeries, for Utah transgender youth. That legislation was passed and signed by the governor.

His website states he’s been a “conservative advocate” for fiscal responsibility, limited government and individual liberty.

Kennedy currently represents parts of northern Utah County in the Utah Senate, including some of Alpine, Highland, American Fork and Pleasant Grove. Outside of the Legislature, Kennedy is a family physician and holds a law degree from Brigham Young University.

So far, there’s at least one official challenger in the race, with Democrat Glenn Wright announcing he is running for the same seat in a press release sent Friday afternoon.

Wright ran against Curtis in 2022, where the incumbent representative won with nearly 74% of the vote. Wright is from Park City and previously served as a Summit County councilor and chair of the Summit County Democratic Party, according to the Park Record.

According to the Federal Election Commission, an exploratory committee is not a declaration of candidacy. Rather, it allows a potential candidate to test the feasibility of a campaign.

Read Original Article