PROVO — With about a month to go before the August GOP primary, 3rd Congressional District candidate John Curtis is touting his campaign fundraising compared with his opponents, Chris Herrod and Tanner Ainge.
Curtis raised $132,468 from 368 donors between April 1 and June 30, according to campaign finance reports submitted to the Federal Elections Commission on Saturday. The Provo mayor also has taken a $100,000 loan from himself, bringing his contribution total to more than $232,000.
During that same period, Ainge, an Alpine lawyer, raised $130,833 with 53 donors, including a $40,398 loan from himself; and Herrod, who has served in the Utah Legislature, raised $79,446 from 40 donors, according to campaign finance reports.
In a news release Sunday, Curtis' campaign compared how much the Provo mayor has raised from Utahns rather than donors based out of state.
About 86.6 percent of Curtis' donations come from Utahns, many living in Utah County, while 13.4 percent — about $16,000 — comes from seven donors living in other states, according to the candidate's campaign finance filings.
The calculation does not include $12,396 of unspecified donations included in Curtis' finance reports.
"I am honored to have the support of so many from across Utah," Curtis said in a prepared statement Sunday. "I am confident our campaign will have the resources to get our conservative message out across the 3rd Congressional District."
Meanwhile, about 65 percent of Ainge's contributions have come from donors living out of state. According to his finance reports, Ainge has raised about $58,200 from 31 donors living outside of Utah and about $30,800 from 21 donors living in Utah.
As for Herrod, about 24 percent ($16,800) of his campaign contributions have come from 14 Utahns, while 26 donors from out of state have contributed 76 percent ($53,150) to his campaign.
Those calculations do not include $1,435 in unspecified donations reported in Ainge's campaign contributions, and $9,496 in Herrod's campaign.
Herrod also has $17,453 in loans from Utah-based contributors.
In response to Curtis' campaign news release, Ainge's campaign spokesman, Peter Watkins, issued a statement accusing Curtis of being "a politician that doesn't want to talk about the real issues."
"Tanner Ainge is talking about cutting spending, cutting taxes and the deficit," Watkins said. "The fact remains, former Utah County Democratic Chair John Curtis raised taxes as mayor, increased fees and increased spending."
Despite Curtis' financial lead, Ainge said in a prepared statement that he expects his campaign will still get the majority of votes on Aug. 15.
"I'm thrilled to have so much support after a few short weeks," he said. "As the campaign continues, we expect to have all the resources needed to win."
Herrod acknowledged that he's received many contributions from out-of-state donors — particularly from Virginia-based political action committees House Freedom Fund and Senate Conservative Fund — but he added that he expects more Utah-based donors during the next campaign finance reporting period.
"We feel very confident we will have the money we need to compete," he said.
Herrod also pointed out that his campaign "significantly outperformed" Curtis at the Utah Republican Party convention last month. Curtis did not have enough votes in the fourth round of delegate voting to stay in the race.
Still, Curtis and Ainge secured their spots on the primary ballot by gathering voter signatures.
Herrod said his delegate support means his campaign is "truly a grass-roots organization."
"I would argue that's the best indicator of support," he said. "It's not the donations; it's the time and effort. And the additional endorsements I have from the national level show we have the right balance between grass roots and having the connections back in D.C. to make sure I will be effective in Congress."
The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Kathie Allen and several minor party candidates on the November ballot.
Between Jan. 1 and March 31, Allen raised more than $564,000, according to her most recent campaign finance filings.