SALT LAKE CITY — A person with a familiar last name, especially to sports fans, has jumped into the race for Utah's soon-to-be-vacant 3rd Congressional District seat.
Tanner Ainge, son of former BYU basketball star and current Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, filed with the state elections office as a Republican candidate. Ainge, of Alpine, also declared his intent to gather signatures to get on the primary ballot.
Also, former GOP Utah House member Chris Herrod announced Tuesday on KNRS radio that he is running. Herrod ran an unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2012.
It appears Provo Mayor John Curtis, a Republican, also has decided to run. According to a Facebook post, Curtis will make an announcement at a rally at the Bell Room in Provo on Thursday evening.
Candidates are scrambling to mount campaigns for a special election to replace GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is stepping down June 30. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Candidates may gather the 7,000 signatures needed to get on the primary election ballot through June 12.
As of Tuesday, six candidates had filed with the state elections office.
Republicans who have filed are Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem; Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork; Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem; and Ainge. None of the three legislators plan to collect signatures but will seek the nomination at a party convention.
The Democrats are Carl Ingwell, of Salt Lake City, and Ben Frank, of Cottonwood Heights. Both intend to collect signatures for a spot in the primary. Cottonwood Heights resident Kathie Allen intends to file Wednesday.
Republican Damian Kidd, of American Fork, has announced his candidacy but has yet to file with the state.
The 3rd District covers San Juan, Emery, Grand, Carbon and Wasatch counties, most of Utah County, including Provo, and the east side of Salt Lake County.